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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

Democrats face strong headwinds in the 2014 mid-term elections and could suffer a similar fate as their crushing defeat in 2010 if their voters don't turn out, according to a longtime confidant of President Barack Obama.

David Plouffe invoked the Democrats' loss in a special election in a conservative Florida district as a "screaming siren" for the party.

"It doesn’t necessarily have to be a harbinger. We have a turnout issue. And I think that this is a screaming siren that the same problems that afflicted us in ’10 -- and traditionally we've had tougher off years than presidential years -- that could face us again," Plouffe told Bloomberg TV's "Political Capital with Al Hunt" in an interview set to air Friday night.

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) would like Nancy Pelosi to apologize for her remarks suggesting that Republicans don't care about "struggling families and really hungry children."

But that's not going to happen.

Over the weekend, the Democratic House minority leader said at the California Democrats State Convention in Los Angeles that an anonymous Republican friend told her that struggling Americans "are invisible, and the Republican caucus is indifferent to them."

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House Republicans escalated a new round of brinkmanship with passage of a bill Friday that delays Obamacare's individual mandate in order to avoid steep Medicare cuts set to take effect at the end of the month.

The legislation -- which delays the mandate by five years in order to avoid a 24 percent cut to Medicare physician payment rates on April 1 -- passed by a mostly party-line vote of 237-182.

"It breaks the cycle of absurdity for doctors and their patients," said House Ways & Means Chair Dave Camp (R-MI). "We must not let this opportunity pass by."

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If Republicans block immigration reform, the White House is signaling that it may act on his own to curtail deportations of people in the country illegally.

President Barack Obama conveyed that message to leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in a private meeting on Thursday, informing them that he has ordered a review of immigration enforcement practices.

"The President emphasized his deep concern about the pain too many families feel from the separation that comes from our broken immigration system," the White House said in a statement. "He told the members that he has asked Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to do an inventory of the Department's current practices to see how it can conduct enforcement more humanely within the confines of the law."

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The Senate reached a bipartisan deal on Thursday to revive emergency jobless benefits for five months and permits retroactive payments to those who lost it on Dec. 28, according to top aides familiar with the agreement.

It's paid for with a policy known as "pension smoothing" (which both parties have supported in the past but critics have bashed as a budgetary sleight of hand), an extension of custom user fees through 2024 and a provision that lets single-employer pension plans prepay their premiums.

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