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

The next third-ranking leader of the House Republican conference is a fierce conservative who has often voted against the initiatives of Speaker John Boehner and makes the existing leadership team look rather moderate by comparison.

Majority Whip-elect Steve Scalise was first elected to the House in a 2008 special election. He represents a deeply conservative district in southern Louisiana that was most recently represented by Bobby Jindal and David Vitter and hasn't elected a Democrat since 1977.

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Rep. Steve Scalise trounced his two opponents in the race to be the next House majority whip on Thursday afternoon.

The Louisiana Republican defeated Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), the chief deputy whip, and Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) on the first ballot, an impressive showing that surprised insiders who suspected none of the candidates would get the outright majority to avoid a runoff election.

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House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California will be the next majority leader.

As expected, Republicans elected McCarthy to replace ousted Rep. Eric Cantor once he steps down from the post on July 31. McCarthy defeated upstart Rep. Raúl Labrador, a second-term congressman who enjoyed some tea party support.

It was a secret ballot election so the vote tally won't be announced.

So, what does this mean for Congress?

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Senate Democrats hit pause on a government funding bill on Wednesday night after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) demanded a vote on an amendment targeting the Obama administration's new rules to combat climate change.

Senate Appropriations Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) pulled consideration of the energy and water bill -- one of various measures to avert a government shutdown on Oct. 1 -- after the top Senate Republican offered his amendment to prevent funding for the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency's rules on coal-fired power plants until the administration certified that it wouldn't harm jobs or raise utility rates.

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Rep. Raúl Labrador was treated to a rude surprise on Tuesday when he appeared on conservative pundit Laura Ingraham's radio show to talk up his tea party credentials as part of his longshot bid to become the next House majority leader.

Instead the Idaho Republican -- who has worked hard over the last eight months to block any House action on immigration -- was attacked by the host for being too pro-immigration.

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The White House fired a warning shot to Republican senators on Wednesday after several of them expressed interest in using a must-pass government funding bill to block the Obama administration's environmental regulations.

"If Republicans want to repeat their government shutdown play to protect the profits of big polluters, they're placing a pretty risky bet," a White House official, who wasn't authorized to discuss the matter on the record, told TPM.

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