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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

It's not often that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell supports a progressive Democrat's deeply consequential bill -- especially one that's despised by the military.

And yet, the Kentucky Republican voted with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and his arch nemesis, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), in favor of a bill Thursday to remove the prosecution of rape from the military chain of command. The bill was blocked anyway: it received 55 votes, short of the 60 needed to break a filibuster.

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The Senate shot down legislation to remove the prosecution of rape from the military chain of command, delivering a stinging defeat for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who has built significant support for the idea in recent months.

The Democratic-led chamber narrowly voted down the proposal, which received 55 votes in favor and 45 against, falling short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster on Thursday.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told a group of reporters on Thursday he won't give up on confirming President Barack Obama's top civil rights nominee, Debo P. Adegbile, who was voted down the previous day.

"I have such high regard for him as a person," Reid said in his Capitol Hill office. "His life story is really the American dream. Such a modest, really smart man."

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One in three Republicans "definitely would not vote for" Chris Christie if he runs for president in 2016, according to a new Washington Post-ABC poll.

Just 9 percent said they definitely would support the New Jersey governor for the White House, while 50 percent said they'd "consider" voting for him. Eleven percent had no opinion.

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The Senate is poised to vote Thursday afternoon on two military sexual assault bills by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO), a Democratic leadership aide told TPM.

Gillibrand's proposal would remove the prosecution of rape from the military chain of command, while McCaskill would keep the issue within the military brass but beef up internal protections for sexual assault victims.

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Sen. Mary Landrieusuggested that the Obama administration's latest tweak to Obamacare wasn't good enough for her. The president's new policy allow insurance plans that fail to meet Obamacare's minimum standards to continue through 2016.

The Louisiana Democrat, who is up for re-election in November, issued a statement on Wednesday that said those plans "should be permanently available."

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The Republican-led House voted Tuesday to delay Obamacare's individual mandate for one year, even though the enrollment period for the year is nearly over and the impact of the bill would be significantly reduced.

The final vote was 250-160. Twenty-seven Democrats joined all but one Republican in voting to delay by one year the health care law's requirement that uninsured Americans get covered or pay a tax penalty of at least $95 in the first year.

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President Barack Obama delivered a strong rebuke to senators from both parties who on Wednesday voted to scuttle his top civil rights nominee, Debo Adegbile, a lawyer who once defended a man who was convinced of killing a police officer in 1981.

"The Senate’s failure to confirm Debo Adegbile to lead the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice is a travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant," the president said in a statement. "Mr. Adegbile’s qualifications are impeccable. He represents the best of the legal profession, with wide-ranging experience, and the deep respect of those with whom he has worked. His unwavering dedication to protecting every American’s civil and Constitutional rights under the law – including voting rights – could not be more important right now."

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