Lauren Fox

Lauren Fox is a reporter at Talking Points Memo.

Articles by Lauren

What the heck happened on the Senate floor last night?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was on the floor Tuesday night speaking out against the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to be the next attorney general. Democrats have spent the last few nights on the floor railing against Trump's nominees. Warren was reading from a 1986 Coretta Scott King letter that criticized Sessions' record on civil rights.

Then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) objected to Warren's reading of the letter, sending into motion the deployment of a rarely-used Senate rule that blocks lawmakers from speaking ill of colleagues.

The Senate voted along party lines to rebuke Warren for her remarks, effectively silencing her.

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Tierney Sneed and Caitlin MacNeal contributed to this report.

Their slogan is "repeal and replace," but as Republicans debate their vision for an Obamacare alternative, they are beginning to see that options are limited, the politics are fraught and the clock is already ticking into President Donald Trump's first 100 days.

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There's very little Senate Democrats can do now to stop the confirmation of Betsy DeVos asPresident Donald Trump's secretary of education unless an additional Republican senator comes forward to block her.

On Tuesday afternoon, lawmakers will have to vote on DeVos. Democrats plan to spend the final hours before the vote, however, speaking out against DeVos on the floor in an organized talkathon.

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President Donald Trump gave an indication Sunday that Republicans may be behind when it comes to Obamacare repeal and replace, and they may not finish it until 2018.

In an interview on Fox Sunday, Trump said that the process might "take till sometime into next year."

Already some House Republicans have voiced frustration and irritation that the process to repeal and replace Obamacare has slowed.

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There is mounting frustration on Capitol Hill with how President Donald Trump has conducted himself in his first week and a half in office.

Trump's decision last week to roll out an executive order that restricted travel from seven-majority Muslim countries and temporarily halted the U.S. refugee program, reportedly without consulting his Capitol Hill, Justice Department or Department of Homeland Security, bruised egos and left congressional Republicans stunned. Some worried that this could be their new normal.

"I got the impression that the people who were briefing us know there needs to be more caution, I'm not sure the President knows that," said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who was coming out of a briefing Tuesday with DHS Secretary Gen. John Kelly.

Hill GOPers already identified an aggressive agenda for the year ahead, including repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act and overhauling the U.S. tax code. But those plans keep getting overshadowed by a White House and President that shoots from the hip and goes ahead with their own agenda without even consulting the first branch of government.

Every new relationship has its growing pains, but for Republicans who've spent the last eight years defining their agenda in opposition to former President Barack Obama, winning the White House wasn't supposed to be like this at all.

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A government attorney disclosed during a Friday hearing in federal court in Virginia that 100,000 visas have been revoked in the chaos generated by President Donald Trump signing an executive order on immigration last week.

The State Department told the Associated Press, however, that the actual number of revoked visas is less than 60,000 and that the number given out in court Friday likely included exempt visa holders like "diplomatic and other visas that were actually exempted by the travel ban."

In a statement to TPM, State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs spokesman William Cocks said the number of revoked visas was less than 60,000.

"Fewer than 60,000 individuals’ visas were provisionally revoked to comply with the Executive Order," Cocks said in the statement. "We recognize that those individuals are temporarily inconvenienced while we conduct our review under the Executive Order. To put that number in context, we issued over 11 million immigrant and non-immigrant visas in fiscal year 2015. As always, national security is our top priority when issuing visas."

The Washington Post first reported that in court Friday morning, a the government's lawyer explained that 100,000 visas had been revoted, but it was unclear how many of those visa holders had been returned to their home countries. Now, the number itself appears to be in question.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) told reporters Thursday that he values Australia as a U.S. ally after reports surfaced that President Donald Trump had a testy phone call with the Australian Prime Minister and hung up early.

"I don't think Australia should be worried about it's relationship with our new president or our country for that matter," Ryan said. "I know your country well, I've met with your leaders continuously over the last number of years."

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Even before Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch began to make the rounds to Capitol Offices on Wednesday afternoon in an attempt to win confirmation from the U.S. Senate, Democratic efforts to hold the line against him were underway.

Just after Gorsuch's nomination was announced Tuesday night, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a statement that Democrats would demand 60 votes to confirm Gorsuch, a rare move on Supreme Court nominees and one that could set into motion the eradication of the filibuster for the Supreme Court.

Many Republicans on Wednesday chummily held the line that Gorsuch was so qualified that they weren't sure Democrats would object to him. But others were candid about what may transpire if Democrats really do stand in the way of Gorsuch.

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One of the central questions in the battle to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act that Republicans have been grappling with since the election is what to do with the law's taxes. Republicans have spent six years railing against those taxes, which could provide crucial revenue to finance a replacement plan.

“My view is this: After spending seven years talking about the harm being caused by these taxes, it’s difficult to switch gears now and decide that they’re fine so long as they’re being used to pay for our healthcare bill,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said Wednesday during an event at the Chamber of Commerce, according to the Hill. "All of the Obamacare taxes need to go as part of the repeal process.”

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