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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

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the House GOP's Obamacare survey, which an insurance industry source dismissed as "incredibly rigged" when sharing it with TPM, is the question that it didn't manage to answer: How many of the law's enrollees were previously uninsured?

It has been one of the pillars of the Republican efforts to undermine the law; they've effectively accused the Obama administration of withholding the data. When the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a survey to insurance companies that sold plans on HealthCare.gov, they naturally sought the answer they'd long been seeking.

And they got bupkis.

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House Republicans have spent the last few months decrying the lack of "complete, full and transparent" Obamacare enrollment data being released by the White House as the number of sign-ups climbed higher and higher. But given their own opportunity to set the bar a little higher, they fell remarkably short.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee released a report Wednesday that said only 67 percent of HealthCare.gov enrollees had paid their first premium, which formally initiates their coverage, as of April 15. But, unfortunately for the GOP, it seems their report is also incomplete and opaque in its own way.

Right-wingers practically rejoiced: 67 percent! That made the Obama administration's victory lap at the beginning of April as the law surpassed 8 million sign-ups look patently ridiculous. That might have been the explicit intention of the committee.

"Tired of receiving incomplete pictures of enrollment in the health care law, we went right to the source and found that the administration’s recent declarations of success may be unfounded,” Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) said in a statement.

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While Republicans wobble on Obamacare, trying to strike a balance between feeding the conservative base and being forced to acknowledge the law hasn't been an abject disaster, at least one Republican Senate candidate has dispensed with the dance.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), looking to capture a currently Democratic-held seat, isn't running on Obamacare. She's not a fan of the law, but it isn't the centerpiece of her campaign. When she does talk about it, she's typically more realistic about what Obamacare has actually done and what Republicans can do about it than most of her conservative peers. West Virginia's participation in the law seems to have necessitated this more tempered attitude.

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A Republican congressman wants to prevent federal agencies from having their own "paramilitary units" and require them to rely on local authorities after the Bundy Ranch drama.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) said his proposal was in response to the armed standoff between the impromptu militia that supported Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and officials from the Bureau of Land Management.

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A Christian church group has sued to overturn North Carolina's ban on gay marriage, saying that the ban infringes on its First Amendment rights of religious freedom.

BuzzFeed reported that the lawyers representing the United Church of Christ leadership say theirs is the first case challenging a same-sex marriage ban that uses the religious freedom argument. It also cites an 'equal protection' argument under the 14th Amendment.

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A Democratic congressman from Nevada said in a letter this week that his constituents have reported the armed militia supporting rancher Cliven Bundy have set up checkpoints to verify the residency of anybody passing through.

Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV), who represents the area, sent the letter Sunday to Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie, asking him to investigate.

"I am writing to bring your attention to the ongoing situation in northeastern Clark County which has caused many of my constituents to fear for their safety," Horsford wrote. Residents in the area "have expressed concern over the continual presence of multiple out-of-state, armed militia groups that have remained in the community" since Bundy's dispute with the Bureau of Land Management came to a boil.

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