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

He's back.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) moved on Saturday toward a vote on the nomination of Vivek Murthy to be the next U.S. surgeon general.

President Barack Obama's nominee for the job was stymied earlier this year by opposition from the National Rifle Association. The influential group attacked his past remarks that gun violence was a public health issue, mobilizing its members against him.

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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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