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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 Congressional Budget Office issued a new report Tuesday on the federal budget deficit, Obamacare and jobs -- and Official Washington exploded.

It all centered on one line about how the health care reform law would affect employment. CBO actually said that Americans would choose to work less, for various reasons, and that if you translated the fewer hours worked into full-time jobs, it would equal 2.5 million by 2024 (2.3 million by 2021). It didn't say that Obamacare would cost the country 2.5 million jobs, but Republicans said so anyway.

But it wasn't just the GOP, which had a political incentive to take advantage of economic jargon. It was the political press as well. They either misrepresented what the report said -- or shrugged off the actual facts, opting instead to speculate on what the political spin would mean for the horse race.

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Republicans thought they found a gold mine when the Congressional Budget Office released its latest report Tuesday on the federal budget and Obamacare. They seized on one line in particular:

The reduction in CBO’s projections of hours worked represents a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024

They had a new talking point: President Obama's hated health care reform law would cost more than 2 million American jobs.

"Obamacare To Print Even More Pink Slips," read the subject of the Senate Republican conference email blasted out after the report's release.

"Obamacare will cost our nation about 2.5 million jobs," tweeted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC):

“For years, Republicans have said that the president’s health care law creates uncertainty for small businesses, hurts take-home pay, and makes it harder to invest in new workers," Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said in a statement. "The middle class is getting squeezed in this economy, and this CBO report confirms that ObamaCare is making it worse."

The New York Times summed it up by claiming that the CBO report is "providing Republican opponents of the law a powerful political weapon leading up to this year’s midterm elections."

But is that what the CBO actually said or meant? No.

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The White House is pushing back on an emerging Republican line of attack taken from Tuesday's Congressional Budget Office: that Obamacare is going to "cost" more than 2 million jobs.

The full story is more complicated than that, but the GOP seized the top-line number to blast the health care reform law. "Obamacare To Print Even More Pink Slips," Senate Republicans said in a release.

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A majority of Virginians, including a majority of the state's Republicans, support expanding Medicaid under Obamacare, according to a new poll.

A poll by the Wason Center at Christopher Newport University, reported by the Washington Post, found that 56 percent of the state's residents said they favored expanding Medicaid eligibility to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, as the law prescribes. Among those who self-identified as Republicans, 55 percent said they supported it.

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The conventional wisdom has said that once states bought into Obamcare's Medicaid expansion, half of the law's two-pronged approach to expanding health insurance coverage, they wouldn't be able to back out of it. More likely, in fact, was that more and more states -- regardless of their ideology -- would sign onto the expansion. It's simply too good a deal to pass up.

But a group of Arkansas Republicans appear intent on defying those expectations as early as this month. In doing so, they would halt health coverage for more than 85,000 who have signed up for expanded Medicaid in Arkansas so far.

MAP: The 5 Million People The GOP Cut Out Of Obamacare

"ObamaCare is among the worst legislation ever passed," one newly elected conservative state senator wrote, explaining his opposition to Medicaid expansion. "I do not think that Obamacare is now or ever has been truly about who gets what and how much it will cost. I believe that the real question is if our health care system under ObamaCare will be destroyed in this country for everyone! I think that question only has one answer and it is yes."

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Less than two years ago, Republican presidential nominee and party standard-bearer Mitt Romney affirmed that he didn't support gay marriage or civil unions that guaranteed same-sex couples the same rights as married straight couples. The chairman of the Republican National Committee asserted that those views were in line with "most Americans."

But that was then.

Perhaps the surest sign yet that the fight over marriage equality is over, that sooner rather than later it will be a politically accepted fact, is the growing chorus of Republicans at the state level who are bucking the official party line and taking up the fight. In the coming years, they might even be crucial crusaders as the push for same-sex marriage rights spreads to the redder areas on the map.

Some of them, like a group of GOP legislators in Oregon, are actively getting in front of the issue and mounting their own campaigns on behalf of gay marriage rights. Others, like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, are simply getting out of the way, acquiescing to the installment of gay marriage approved by state lawmakers and courts. They'll become an evermore important piece of the marriage equality coalition, conservative and progressive advocates say.

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In an email leaked Saturday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's office responded more vigorously to new allegations by his former Port Authority appointee that he knew more about the George Washington Bridge lane closures than he has admitted.

The 700-word email, reported by Politico, is titled "5 Things You Should Know About The Bombshell That's Not A Bombshell." It was sent to friends and allies, according to the news outlet.

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