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Kay Steiger

Kay Steiger is an associate editor at Talking Points Memo. She formerly worked at Raw Story, Washingtonian magazine, the Center for American Progress and The American Prospect. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, the Guardian, Jezebel, AlterNet and others. She graduated from the University of Minnesota. Contact her at kay@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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On the Senate floor on Wednesday, just before the body took to vote on the deal brokered between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, leader of the defund-Obamacare movement Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) stood to announce his resolve against the Affordable Care Act.

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House Speaker John Boehner released a statement on Wednesday afternoon about the coming vote in the House of Representatives on the deal brokered between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Miniority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

The House has fought with everything it has to convince the president of the United States to engage in bipartisan negotiations aimed at addressing our country's debt and providing fairness for the American people under ObamaCare.  That fight will continue.  But blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us.  In addition to the risk of default, doing so would open the door for the Democratic majority in Washington to raise taxes again on the American people and undo the spending caps in the 2011 Budget Control Act without replacing them with better spending cuts.  With our nation's economy still struggling under years of the president's policies, raising taxes is not a viable option. Our drive to stop the train wreck that is the president's health care law will continue.  We will rely on aggressive oversight that highlights the law's massive flaws and smart, targeted strikes that split the legislative coalition the president has relied upon to force his health care law on the American people.

In an interview with New York Magazine, Justice Antonin Scalia said that he believed in the Christian demon. 

The interview with Jennifer Senior turned to theology, with Senior asking if Scalia believed in heaven and hell. He said he did, but that he didn't believe you had to be Catholic to get into heaven. "I don’t even know whether Judas Iscariot is in hell. I mean, that’s what the pope meant when he said, 'Who am I to judge?' He may have recanted and had severe penance just before he died. Who knows?"

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Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) told reporters on Monday he'll vote for the "rule" and the GOP's new continuing resolution, which would delay Obamacare by one year along with a measure that would strip subsidies for congressional staffers.

"I'm supporting the Speaker," he said.

Earlier in the day Nunes called Republicans who voted along with the latest plan, which is likely to trigger a government shutdown, "lemmings."

"I would say the leadership has been backed into a corner by the lemmings," he said just hours earlier. "But I'd be hesitant to refer to them as lemmings because that'd be an insult to lemmings."

Nunes reiterated Monday evening said he would also support a "clean" CR if it came up for a vote."

Reporting by Sahil Kapur.

House Republicans introduced a bill on Saturday to allow military pay to continue even if a government shutdown should occur, according to a report in Politico. 

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), would ensure that members of the military would be classified as essential employees. Earlier this week reports revealed that military pay could be halted should a shutdown last longer than two weeks. 

The House is expected to vote late Saturday night on a continuing resolution that delays Obamacare by one year, a measure that the Senate is expected to reject. The fiscal year ends at midnight on Monday. 

A Tennessee Republican introduced a bill on Tuesday that would limit the kinds of food that food stamp recipients can buy, according to The Hill.

Rep. Phil Roe said he wants the national food stamp program to have same standards as state-level programs started in Wisconsin and South Carolina that aims to stop an estimated $2 billion of unhealthy food purchases made with funds provided by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 

"By giving SNAP recipients more nutritious choices, we can take a meaningful step towards ending hunger in America," he told The Hill.

Roe's bill would make the SNAP program adhere to the same standards that the Women Infant and Children (WIC) program puts on food purchases. Critics have alleged that the WIC program's food choices aren't necessarily based on science and need to better adhere to nutrional guidelines. 

The Environtmental Protection Agency is expected to issue regulations later this month blocking the construction of new coal plants unless they include what lobbyists contest are expensive carbon capture controls.

The restrictions on carbon emissions, reported Bloomberg News, are under review by White House officials and are scheduled to be released on Sept. 20. The regulations have already been revised after plants insisted that the new regualtions would shut down existing plants, and the new proposal is said to include a gradual phase-in of carbon capture technology over time for already-existing plants. 

EPA Spokeswoman Alisha Johnson declined to comment about the upcoming regulations. 

Coal is the largest contributor of greenhouse gasses in the United States, and the regulations are believed to be part of the White House's plan to tackle climate change with regulatory authority, as President Barack Obama announced in his June 25 speech on climate change.

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