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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

President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that the U.S. has captured Ahmed Abu Khatallah and charged him with playing a role in the attacks on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi that killed four Americans.

"I recently authorized an operation in Libya to detain an individual charged for his role in these attacks, Ahmed Abu Khatallah," Obama said, praising the "painstaking efforts of our military, law enforcement, and intelligence personnel" and vowing that Khatallah "will now face the full weight of the American justice system."

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Let's face it, this isn't the most productive Congress. In fact it's even less productive than Harry Truman's famous "do-nothing Congress."

But one lesson House Republicans are taking home from Majority Leader Eric Cantor's stunning defeat is that any hint of cooperation with Democrats comes at a potentially career-ending price. Cantor was -- at least proclaimed to be -- committed to bridging deep divides over several complex and controversial bills.

Three legislative projects -- an Obamacare alternative, immigration reform and a Voting Rights Act fix -- were a heavy lift even before Cantor lost to tea party-backed economics professor David Brat in his GOP primary last Tuesday.

Now they're even more doomed.

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With House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) seen as a likely to ascend to majority leader after Thursday's scheduled election, his seat as majority whip will open up. The intra-GOP battle to take that job is heating up as three Republicans jockey to lock up the votes.

Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise is making inroads in his bid to rise to the No. 3 leadership position, facing off against Illinois Rep. Peter Roskam, the chief deputy whip, and Indiana Rep. Marlin Stutzman, a conservative upstart.

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President Barack Obama is planning on signing an executive order to protect LGBT employees of federal contractors from workplace discrimination, the White House told TPM on Monday.

His move comes after the House has nixed the Senate-passed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would bar most employers from discriminating on the basis of an employee's sexual orientation or gender identity.

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On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List has standing to challenge a state law in Ohio that prohibits false statements about political candidates.

The unanimous ruling, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, says the group demonstrated a "sufficiently imminent injury" and therefore its First Amendment case against the law may move forward.

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Eric Cantor, next Republican National Committee chairman?

Former RNC chair Michael Steele thinks it's a possibility after the House majority leader was defeated Tuesday in a Virginia Republican primary.

"With the upcoming presidential election, there's a lot of interest in Eric Cantor serving as national chairman of the RNC," Steele said Saturday on MSNBC's "Up With Steve Kornacki."

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