Lauren Fox

Lauren Fox is a reporter at Talking Points Memo.

Articles by Lauren

On Friday, Trump's transition team blasted out a Christmas letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"A very nice letter from Vladimir Putin; his thoughts are so correct. I hope both sides are able to live up to these thoughts, and we do not have to travel an alternate path," President-elect Trump said of the letter.

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New Mexico's health care exchange is apologizing after a draft letter it wrote to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on behalf of the governor was leaked. The letter – in which Republican Gov. Susana Martinez purportedly warned against GOP plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act right away without a replacement – was apparently never seen by the governor, and she never even knew it existed.

The state's Obamacare exchange is now conceding to TPM that it drafted the letter for the governor's review and that the draft was somehow leaked.

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Senate Democrats released a statement Thursday morning calling on Trump's nominees to offer full financial disclosures and ethics statements if they want the confirmation processes to run smoothly.

In the statement, 16 Democrats – all ranking members on the relevant committees vetting Trump's nominees– asked that Trump's cabinet nominees submit more information ahead of hearings, which Republicans want to move on as soon as possible.

“The United States Senate has a rich, bipartisan tradition of vetting nominees to the President’s Cabinet. We hope to continue that tradition with our colleagues in the Republican Majority because the American people are entitled to a fair and open consideration process for all executive nominations," the committee said.

The statement appeared to draw a line against Trump's nominees skipping over steps that have traditionally been completed before a nominee moves on to a confirmation hearing. Those steps include a nominee clearing an FBI background check, turning over a "completed financial disclosure statement and ethics agreement signed by the Office of Government Ethics" and satisfying "reasonable requests for additional information and Members have time to review that material.”

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Republicans in the House Freedom Caucus may be shifting their uncompromising, tough budget stance under President-elect Donald Trump, according to a report in the National Review.

According to the piece, there is discussion underway to accept that just 50 percent of Trump's infrastructure bill would have to be offset with spending cuts elsewhere– a precedent that they never would have accepted under President Barack Obama.

After Trump was first elected, members of the House Freedom Caucus were vocal about their opposition to some of Trump's costly legislative priorities like a $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

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Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he's on board with Trump's proposal for a massive $1 trillion infrastructure bill, according to a report from Politico.

Schumer might be more aligned with Trump on the infrastructure plan than Republican leaders who have warned against the infrastructure bill's price tag – and appears eager to exploit those tensions.

Schumer made the comments during an interview on Jon Karl's and Rick Klein's "Powerhouse Politics" podcast.

“We think it should be large,” Schumer said according to a write up from Politico. “He’s mentioned a trillion dollars. I told him that sounded good to me.”

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A team of independent researchers is working to download Obamacare data and preserve it before Trump takes office in January.

According to a Wednesday report from Politico, the effort started independently, but Jeanne Lambrew, the White House's top health reform official, has also been encouraging the effort.

Lambrew declined to comment to Politco.

"We are not going to speculate on what sort of policies President-elect Trump may choose to prioritize or pursue," a representative of the Department of Health and Human Services told Politico.

The fear is that Trump – who campaigned on repealing and replacing Obamacare and has expressed skepticism over government data– may do away with or just ignore important information that shows how people use the Affordable Care Act.

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