Perry Stein

Perry is a News Writer for Talking Points Memo based in Washington D.C. Prior to TPM, she was a reporter-research at The New Republic and worked for her hometown paper, The Miami Herald. Perry can be reached at perry@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Perry

House conservatives have invited several Republican senators to a closed-door policy meeting next week that will feature representatives from both sides of the immigration debate, National Journal reported on Friday.

Three senators, who each have different stances on immigration reform, had confirmed their attendance as of Friday: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).

The meeting, hosted by the Republican Study Committee, will be moderated by the committee's chair, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA).

This is the first significant bicameral discussion on immigration reform, according to the Journal, and will be a test for Rubio as he tries to win over reform skeptics within his own party.

Democrats, who hope to pass immigration legislation before the July 4 recess, think it will be "pretty easy" to get the legislation through the Senate. 

“I talked about this to a number of my senators today...” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently said. “I think we have 60 votes. Remember, we start out at 55 Democrats. I think the most I’ll lose is two or three. Let’s say I wind up with 52 Democrats. I only need eight Republicans, and I already have four, so that should be pretty easy."

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White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer's power apparently went out in his home Thursday night, and instead of using his presumed direct line to the president to fix the problem, he took to the communication mode of the masses: Twitter.

After a nearby coffee shop in the Logan Circle neighbohood of D.C. tweeted that their power was back up, Pfeiffer responded saying that his was still down and he couldn't get a response from the city's electricity provider, Pepco.  He tweeted Pepco's account and the company subsequently tweeted back asking him for his information.

It was not immediatelly clear whether Pfeiffer's electricty was swiftly restored.

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A South Carolina Democratic state senator has resigned from his post amid allegations that he deposited campaign money into a personal account, using some of that cash to make purchases at an adult bookstore.

Sen. Robert Ford (no relation to the alleged crack smoking Toronto mayor, Rob Ford) was admitted to a hospital Thursday evening for chest pains, and did not return to the state capital Friday for the second of two days of Senate Ethics Committee on eight alleged violations of state ethics laws against him, according to The State. He was released from the hospital sometime Friday morning.

Ford, who was first elected in 1993, has denied the allegations, saying that he never spent campaign money on himself and that the purchase at the adult stores were gifts for two campaign workers.

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Jeb Bush may be the son of a former president, the brother of another former president and a former two-term governor of one of the biggest states, but it seems Americans may not be all that familiar with him.

About 42 percent of voters nationwide do not know enough about the Florida governor to form an opinion of him, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Friday, which surveyed what voters thought of a number of 2016 potential presidential contenders.

In comparison, seven percent of voters said they hadn't heard enough about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to have an opinion of her. Nineteen percent of voters didn't know enough about Vice President Joe Biden and 42 percent don't know much about Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R).

In a hypothetical match up between Clinton and Bush, Clinton would win 48 percent to 40 percent of the vote.

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President Barack Obama spoke surrounded by college students in the White House Rose Garden Friday, warning them of the looming student loan rate hikes.

The subsidized interest rates for the government's Stafford loans are set to double on July 1 from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent--unless, of course, Congress can come to an agreement before that deadline.

House Republicans have already passed partisan legislation that would tie the student loan rate to the ups and downs of the financial markets, but Obama said that's not good enough.

"The House of Representatives has already passed a student loan bill, and I'm glad that they took action, but unfortunately their bill does not meet that test," Obama said. "It fails to lock in low rates for students next year. That is not smart. It eliminates safeguards for lower income families. That is not fair."


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Gun-rights activist Adam Kokesh, who had planned to get thousands of protestors to march from Virginia into the D.C. on the Fourth of July with loaded rifles on their backs, has just cancelled the rally, he said earlier this week on “The Pete Santilli Show.” 

The. D.C. police chief previously said that the rifle-heavy protest, which would have been in violation of D.C. gun laws, would have been met on the bridge connecting Arlington to D.C. with two police forces carrying guns of their own.

Now, instead of the originally planned protest, Kokesh called on people to gather in all 50 state capitals to protest gun regulations.


"Please don't come to Washington, D.C., this now an appeal to the state level and I think it's much more appropriate given the gravity of the situation," Kokesh said on the radio show, which was first reported by Media Matters. We shouldn't be begging the federal government to change, we shouldn't be hoping that they respect our rights because it's clear that they don't.

Kokesh is currently in a  federal prison in Philadelphia for allegedly assaulting a police officer.

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The ACLU had some strong words of caution about President Barack Obama's reported pick for FBI Director, James Comey, accusing the former Justice Department official of "approving some of the worst abuses committed by the Bush administration." 

The organization's full statement, released Thursday, is below:


"While the ACLU does not take official positions on nominations to appointed office, there are many questions regarding Comey's record that deserve careful scrutiny from the Senate Judiciary Committee. As the second-highest ranked Justice Department official under John Ashcroft, Comey approved some of the worst abuses committed by the Bush administration. Specifically, the publicly available evidence indicates Comey signed off on enhanced interrogation techniques that constitute torture, including waterboarding. He also oversaw the indefinite detention without charge or trial of an American citizen picked up in the United States and then held for years in a military brig. Although Comey, despite tremendous pressure from the Bush White House, deserves credit for courageously stopping the reauthorization of a secret National Security Agency program, he reportedly approved programs that struck at the very core of who we all are as Americans.

"It's critical that the Senate ensures that the men and women of the FBI know that they have a leader who will demand adherence to the rule of law and will hold those accountable who do not, wherever he or she may find them."

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Former President George W. Bush had some pretty non-descript praise for Sen. Marco Rubio Thursday:

"Rubio's articulate. I met him once, maybe twice. My brother likes him, so I like him," Bush said, according to the Huffington Post, at his third annual Warrior 100K, a three-day mountain bike ride that he hosts every year. 

The former president also commented on the current immigration reform battles, and cautioned his fellow Republicans to not try and fix the system simply to win votes.

"I think the atmosphere, unlike when I tried it, is better, maybe for the wrong reason," Bush said. "The right reason is it's important to reform a broken system. I'm not sure a right reason is that in so doing we win votes. I mean when you do the right thing, I think you win votes, as opposed to doing something that's the right thing to win votes. Maybe there's no difference there. It seems like there is to me though."

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Top lawmakers announced Thursday they will join together to honor the longest serving member of Congress, Rep. John Dingell of Michigan.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will hold the celebration in Dingell's honor on June 13 in the National Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol.

Dingell, a Democrat, was first sworn into office in 1955 and, as of June 13, will have served a total of 57 years, five months, and 26 days--a time that surpasses the record previously set by Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia.


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The White House views appointing a special prosecutor to investigate misconduct at the Internal Revenue service as an unnecessary step, despite calls from many Republicans to do so.

"There are a lot of people looking at this from a lot of different perspectives," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Air Force One Thursday. "We’re confident those who need to be held accountable will be.”

Congress and the IRS are already investigating the tax agency's improper scrutiny of conservative groups during the run up to the 2012 election. A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday found that 76 percent of American believe a special prosecutor should be appointed.

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