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

After six and a half hours of delay and uncertainty, House Republican leaders announced a vote Thursday on a spending bill that faces fierce opposition on the left and right and threw Congress into chaos.

The vote comes just three hours before the government is poised to shut down if Congress doesn't pass a bill that President Barack Obama signs by midnight.

Many expect the spending bill to fail, with conservative Republicans angry that it permits Obama's immigration actions, and progressive Democrats furious about provisions that weaken rules on banks and loosen campaign.

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Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN) are pushing to scuttle the GOP leadership's spending bill in favor of a stopgap proposal that includes a symbolic vote against President Barack Obama's immigration executive actions.

As House Republicans scrambled to secure the votes for a spending bill, the two conservative lawmakers told reporters on Thursday afternoon they have floated a plan to Republican leaders that they believe would unite the GOP caucus.

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In a case of strange bedfellows, liberal Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH) and conservative Republican Sen. David Vitter (LA) have joined forces to push for the removal of language weakening rules on big banks in the spending bill.

The two senators wrote a joint letter calling on congressional leaders to remove a provision from the $1.1 trillion spending bill that would loosen rules on derivatives trading established in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

Read the letter below.

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The Republican-led House averted disaster by the slimmest of margins in a dramatic test vote on Thursday to advance the $1.1 trillion government funding bill.

The "rule" passed by a 214 to 212 vote, with Democrats unanimously voting "no" and some Republicans switching to "yes" in the final moments to ensure that the legislation comes up for a House vote later on Thursday.

The outcome was in doubt until the very end — GOP leaders were losing the vote and held it open after time had expired, despite Democrats yelling at them to close it, and called it once enough members switched to pass it. In the end, 16 Republicans voted against it.

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The U.S. congressman who inserted language in the omnibus spending bill to block Washington, D.C.'s marijuana legalization ballot initiative says it doesn't violate the principle of state's rights.

"D.C.'s not a state," Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) told a few reporters in the Capitol on Wednesday, in response to a question by TPM.

"I'm sorry, it's not a state!" he laughed.

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Torture architects were paid $81 million by the CIA. Harsh interrogation techniques, portrayed in "Zero Dark Thirty" as helping the U.S. hunt down Osama bin Laden, didn't actually lead to his capture. And then-Secretary of State Colin Powell was not briefed on torture because the White House feared he would "blow his stack."

These are some more jaw-dropping revelations, along with what TPM reported earlier, contained in the 525-page report released Tuesday by Senate Democrats about the CIA's torture program during the Bush administration.

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