Dylan Scott

Dylan Scott is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He previously reported for Governing magazine in Washington, D.C., and the Las Vegas Sun. His work has been recognized with a 2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors award for Best Feature Series and a 2010 Associated Press Society of Ohio award for Best Investigative Reporting. He can be reached at dylan@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Dylan

Late on the night of Sept. 30, with the federal government just hours away from shutting down, House Republicans quietly made a small change to the House rules that blocked a potential avenue for ending the shutdown.

It went largely unnoticed at the time. But with the shutdown more than a week old and House Democrats searching for any legislative wiggle room to end it, the move looms large in retrospect in the minds of the minority party.

"What people don't know is that they rigged the rules of the House to keep the government shut down," Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), ranking member of the House Budget Committee, told TPM in an interview. "This is a blatant effort to make sure that the Senate bill did not come up for a vote."

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) is considering accepting Obamacare's Medicaid expansion in his state via executive order, his office confirmed to TPM, after the state legislature stymied his efforts earlier this year.

The possibility was first reported by the Columbus Dispatch. “We continue to explore all our options and just want to get this done," Kasich spokesman Robert Nichols told TPM in an email Wednesday.

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In a letter to U.S senators dated Wednesday, Koch Industries denied ever advocating for a government shutdown as a way to force the defunding of Obamacare. The letter was in response to comments on the Senate floor Tuesday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in which he blamed Koch for the shutdown, which followed a conservative push to pressure Democrats into defunding or delaying Obamacare to keep the government open.

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A top conservative economist said Tuesday that a default "wouldn't happen" if the federal debt limit were breached, joining a chorus of conservative voices who are downplaying the consequences of a government default.

"I think it's a non-issue. I think it wouldn't happen," Martin Feldstein, a Harvard University economics professor and former chief economic adviser to President Ronald Reagan, told Charlie Rose on Bloomberg TV. "I think default as such is a scare tactic."

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The next move for House Republicans in the government shutdown/debt ceiling fight is asking for a bicameral, bipartisan committee to hash out a deal to raise the debt ceiling, in exchange for spending reforms. A similar group created by the 2011 Budget Control Act failed to craft a long-term deficit reduction deal that both sides found desirable.

So think of this as a zombie supercommittee.

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The United States will reach its federal debt ceiling in T-minus 10 days, and it's looking increasingly plausible that we might blow through it.

Economists of every stripe agree that a U.S. default would be economically catastrophic. But there is a subsection of Republicans -- present in past debt limit debates and reappearing over the last few weeks -- who say that hitting the ceiling isn't a big deal. They aren't just making these pronouncements to reporters, though: according to Roll Call, Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-PA) told Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in a closed-door meeting that he could avoid default even if the debt limit is breached.

Here are eight other GOPers who have made their position public:

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With the American public largely blaming the House GOP for closing the federal government, they're looking for politically expedient programs to fund -- often programs they've criticized in the past -- to try to shift the shutdown heat to Democrats.

That's the cognitive dissonance of the House GOP's shutdown plan. The party of small government has now suddenly found a broad slate of government programs that it wants to fund.

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The Hail Mary strategy proposed by Democrats late last week to end the government shutdown is predicated on one small miracle: moderate Republicans defying their leadership to bring a clean spending bill to the House floor.

But even if the strategy ultimately fails, which now seems likely, Democrats still see it as an opportunity to call out those supposed moderates -- the Peter Kings and Charlie Dents -- who have talked a big game about ending the shutdown, but failed to follow through when presented a procedural path to do it.

"This is a way to smoke out people who say they want to keep the government open right now," Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), one of the plan's architects, told TPM in an interview Monday. "This is an opportunity for them to put their signatures where their mouths are."

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