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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

The ACLU sued the Obama administration Thursday, demanding that the Justice Department respond to its request for information about evidence derived from secret surveillance being used in criminal prosecutions.

The lawsuit stemmed from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that the organization filed in March. The ACLU alleged Thursday that the administration had failed to comply fully with its request.

The surveillance in question -- authorized under the 2008 amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and commonly known as FAA -- was at the heart of the leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden this summer. At issue is whether the Justice Department must disclose to criminal defendants that some of the evidence against them was originally derived from warrantless surveillance under the FAA.

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With the dust settled after the 2013 government shutdown, Obamacare -- the law that catalyzed the drama of recent weeks, as Republican sought to stop it -- remains entirely untouched.

The shutdown and threat of default did not stop the rollout of Obamacare on Oct. 1. And though the GOP sought to slay the Obamacare dragon with a whole host of weapons, the only concession that they won is a meaningless one. The Obama administration will have to verify the income of people who receive financial help to buy insurance through the law.

They were supposed to do that, anyway, though the administration had scaled back the scope this summer. Even conservative wonks like the Washington Examiner's Phillip Klein acknowledged that what was included in Wednesday's deal was a "watered-down" provision.

But for posterity's sake, let's remember the numerous ways that Republicans aimed to kill the law they loathe so deeply. It should be noted that some of these ploys were combined together in the GOP's various proposals.

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Sahil Kapur contributed to this report.

For a certain block of House conservatives, the ones who drove Speaker John Boehner toward a government shutdown and near-default against his will, the lesson of the last few weeks isn't that they overreached. Not that they made unachievable demands, put their leadership in an impossible position, damaged their party's position with the public and left a deep uncertainty about whether the GOP conference can recover and legislate.

No, what they're taking away from the 2013 crisis is: They didn't go far enough.

They aren't angry with Speaker John Boehner for ultimately capitulating to Democratic demands. They're frustrated with their more mainstream colleagues who put him in that position.

"I'm more upset with my Republican conference, to be honest with you. It's been Republicans here who apparently always want to fight, but they want to fight the next fight, that have given Speaker Boehner the inability to be successful in this fight," Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) told reporters Wednesday. "So if anybody should be kicked out, it's probably those Republicans... who are unwilling to keep the promises they made to the American people. Those are the people who should be looking behind their back."

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In the first step of a two-step process, the Senate voted Wednesday night to re-open the federal government and raise the debt ceiling.

The bill passed 81-18. Among the senators who voted against the bill: Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).

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House conservatives conjured a familiar bogeyman Wednesday to explain their imminent surrender in the government shutdown fight: the liberal media.

Their tactics weren't to blame. Division with the House GOP conference doesn't account for it. They didn't overreach in aiming to dismantle Obamacare. Rather, it was the press that failed to communicate their message to the American people -- or blatantly misled them.

At a Wednesday briefing, a collection of House conservatives effectively called the attending reporters liars.

"You guys in the media continued reporting that what the conservatives were asking for was the full repeal of Obamacare. That's absolutely false," said Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), a member of the Republican Study Committee and the point person during the Wednesday briefing.

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UPDATE: 2:20 p.m. ET

Thursday, Oct. 17, is the day that the Treasury Department says it will max out its authority for borrowing money unless Congress raises the debt limit. While the potential for a deal looks promising Wednesday, the procedural hurdles in the Senate mean that a bill might not actually pass until after the debt ceiling is reached.

If that happens, here's what happens after that, according to Jason Furman, chairman of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers.

"If you hit the debt limit on the 17th, the United States will no longer have the authority to borrow," Furman told a small group of reporters at a briefing last week. "It will have, as Secretary (Jack) Lew said, about $30 billion in cash. Within a very short period of time, that cash would then go away and you'd only be allowed to pay out as much as you collect in."

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