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Sahil Kapur

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

Articles by Sahil

Could the federal government shut down again this fall?

Th idea sounds absurd on its face, especially one month before an election, and one year after Republicans took a drubbing in the polls for forcing a shutdown over Obamacare.

But it could happen. Congress is currently on course for a battle to keep the federal government funded when the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. Even though the two parties agreed to a discretionary spending level of $1.014 trillion for fiscal year 2015, the appropriations process has screeched to a halt over extraneous policy issues and procedural disputes. And so a stopgap measure appears inevitable.

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Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), the chairman of the health committee and a chief author of Obamacare, tore into an appeals court ruling this week that forbid the federal exchange to provide subsidies to millions of Americans in 36 states.

"It's nuts," he told TPM in an interview in the Capitol on Thursday.

Harkin said he's certain Congress intended to provide the premium tax credits on the federal HealthCare.gov exchange, rather than simply the state exchange, as the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday.

"Of course we did!" an impassioned Harkin said. "It's plain to see. You can read our reports and everything else. ... I was one of the people who wrote it! Of course we wanted it to be accessible to everyone, not just people on state exchanges."

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Facing a divided House Republican conference and no clear path forward on legislation to address the border crisis, Speaker John Boehner is giving President Barack Obama an ultimatum: support reforms to toughen up border controls or we won't give you any money to deal with the humanitarian crisis involving child migrants from Central America.

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Prominent social conservatives are furious with President Barack Obama for signing an anti-discrimination order on Monday prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees.

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The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Obamacare against a sweeping challenge to its federal subsidies on Tuesday. A three-judge panel unanimously ruled that the statute permits the federal exchange -- and not just state-run exchanges -- to provide subsidies.

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