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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

In the wake of President Obama's reelection, due in part to his winning Hispanic voters by 44 points, Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have restarted bipartisan discussions over comprehensive immigration reform.

On the Sunday talk shows, both sounded bullish about reaching an agreement.

"Senator Graham and I have talked, and we are resuming the talks that were broken off two years ago," Schumer said on NBC's "Meet The Press." "We had put together a comprehensive detailed blueprint on immigration reform. It had the real potential for bipartisan support."

"Graham and I are talking to our colleagues about this right now," he said, "and I think we have a darn good chance using this blueprint to get something done this year."

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Appearing Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press," Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) sounded an optimstic note about the prospects for a comprehensive immigration reform deal this year.

"Senator [Lindsey] Graham and I have talked, and we are resuming the talks that were broken off two years ago," he said. "We had put together a comprehensive detailed blueprint on immigration reform. It had the real potential for bipartisan support."

Schumer described the contours of the plan: close the borders, crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants, clear the way for immigrants the country needs and a path to citizenship for undocumented people.

"Graham and I are talking to our colleagues about this right now, and I think we have a darn good chance using this blueprint to get something done this year," he said. "The Republican Party has learned that being anti-immigrant doesn't work for them politically."

On ABC's "This Week," Sen. Saxby Chambliss weighed in on the debate over taxes and the fiscal cliff.

"Listen, Speaker Boehner said it, I think, very well -- I thought he showed great leadership by saying revenues need to be on the table," he said.

He talked up Bowles-Simpson as a model for dealing with the fiscal cliff, arguing that the deal must also reform entitlement programs.

Appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week" Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), a member of the Democratic leadership, telegraphed her party's intentions if Republicans refuse to accept a tax increase on the wealthy.

"[T]o solve this problem, the wealthiest Americans have to pay their fair share too," she said. "If the Republicans will not agree with that, we will reach a point at the end of this year where all the tax cuts expire and we'll start over next year, and whatever we do will be a tax cut for whatever package we put together. That may be the way to get past this."

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), the highest ranked House Republican woman, said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that Republicans need to become more "modern" but not "moderate."

"I don't think it's about the Republican Party needing to become more moderate; I really believe it's the Republican Party becoming more modern," she said. "And whether it's Hispanics, whether it's women, whether it's young people, the Republican Party has to make it a priority to take our values, to take our vision to every corner of this country."

"I think it's more about the messenger and who's communicating our values to every corner of this country."

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), the highest ranked woman in the House Republican conference, said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that Americans largely voted for the status quo.

"What I saw largely was a status quo election. The voters decided to keep things basically the same with the Republicans in the majority in the House, and the Democrats with the presidency and the Senate," she said. "But they also recognize that both parties have something very important to offer."

Fortunately for the United States, Florida won't swing the election, because if it did, the nation may be without a president-elect for a while longer.

The other 49 states have been called, and President Obama has easily won reelection. But Florida carries 29 electoral votes, and as of Thursday afternoon, the state still did not know which candidate has won them.

With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Obama leads Mitt Romney by roughly 55,000 votes, according to Florida's official tally -- a small sliver of the 8.4 million ballots counted. Even networks have refrained from declaring a winner.

So what went wrong?

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In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) signaled that he may not push for more votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act in its entirety.

In an email to TPM, his spokesman Kevin Smith clarified Boehner's intentions.

“While ObamaCare is the law of the land, it is costing us jobs and threatening our health care," Smith said. "Speaker Boehner and House Republicans remain committed to repealing the law, and he said in the interview it would be on the table."

Smith emailed TPM the full transcript of Boehner's exchange:

DIANE SAWYER: A couple of other questions about the agenda now. You have said next year that you would repeal the healthcare vote. That's still your mission?

JOHN BOEHNER: Well, I think the election changes that. It's pretty clear that the president was reelected, Obamacare-- is the law of the land. I think there are parts-- of-- the healthcare law that-- are gonna be very difficult to implement. And very expensive. And as-- the time when we're tryin' to find a way to create a path-- toward a balanced budget-- everything has to be on the table.

DIANE SAWYER: But you won't be spending the time next year trying to repeal Obamacare?

JOHN BOEHNER: There certainly may be parts of it that we believe-- need to be changed. We may do that. No decisions at this point.

Now that President Obama has secured re-election, allies and foes alike agree that his health care reform law is here to stay. The legislature, the executive, the judiciary and now the electorate, in its own way, have ratified it. And as more popular provisions of the law take effect in the coming months, rolling them back will be an increasingly dicey political proposition.

But that doesn't mean it's smooth sailing for the ACA from this point forward. The law is vast and complicated and sure to encounter implementation problems -- and many of those problems won't be fixable unless Republicans agree to participate constructively.

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