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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

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Thursday that new revelations about Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital mean he'd have trouble gaining Senate approval for pretty much any job.

"He not only couldn't be confirmed as a cabinet secretary, he couldn't be confirmed as dog catcher," Reid told reporters at a Capitol press briefing, in response to a question from TPM. "Because a dog catcher, you're at least going to want to look at his income tax returns."

"The long report that we have in the Boston Globe today indicates that, as one of his own employees said, it doesn't make sense," Reid continued. "He said he left Bain to go to the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and stopped any association with Bain. But his SEC filings indicated that he was Chief Executive Officer, sole stockholder, and ran the corporation for at least 3 more years. And that's why people who say there's been advertisements where businesses were closed, people laid off - and he says oh I wasn't there, I left in 1999. As his own operative said, it doesn't make sense. And it doesn't."

Reid said the issue is important because Bain was accused of being involved with outsourcing jobs in those ensuing years, and Romney's campaign has argued that he had left by then.

The Romney campaign pushed back on the Globe story Thursday morning.

"The article is not accurate," said Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul. "As Bain Capital has said, as Governor Romney has said, and as has been confirmed by independent fact checkers multiple times, Governor Romney left Bain Capital in February of 1999 to run the Olympics and had no input on investments or management of companies after that point."

But don't expect Democrats to let up on the attacks.

"The latest [report] shows that even when he said he didn't have an affiliation with Bain, he did," Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told TPM. "And so this is one big morass for Mitt Romney, and it's going to stay with him until he comes clean and reveals everything."

Mitt Romney's campaign manager Matt Rhoades issued a scorching statement Thursday calling on President Obama to apologize for top aide Stephanie Cutter's suggestion that the ex-governor either lied or committed a felony regarding his tenure at Bain.

Rhoades's statement:

"President Obama’s campaign hit a new low today when one of its senior advisers made a reckless and unsubstantiated charge to reporters about Mitt Romney that was so over the top that it calls into question the integrity of their entire campaign. President Obama ought to apologize for the out-of-control behavior of his staff, which demeans the office he holds. Campaigns are supposed to be hard fought, but statements like those made by Stephanie Cutter belittle the process and the candidate on whose behalf she works."

House Republicans stood together in Wednesday's 244-185 vote to repeal 'Obamacare' -- the 33rd vote in the chamber to roll back the law.

Five Democrats broke with their party to join them, two more than last year's repeal vote. All five represent Republican-leaning districts. All five were among 39 Democrats to vote against final passage of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010. The three who are seeking re-election are politically vulnerable and face tough Republican challengers.

Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT)

Matheson, a Blue Dog serving since 2001, voted against the GOP's repeal effort last year. He flipped this time around to realign with Republicans against Obama's signature law.

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Ahead of a Republican-led House vote Wednesday to try to repeal 'Obamacare' for the 33rd time, House Democrats expressed a growing sense of optimism that their biggest achievement in a generation is here to stay, invoking the lessons of history.

"This [law] is alive and well and has a big future," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told TPM in her Capitol Hill office, during a discussion with a handful of reporters and bloggers. "I knew it would pass, I knew it would be upheld and I know it will survive."

Energized by the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, as well as recent polling indicating a favorable swing in public opinion, Democrats are less worried about the fierce, unabated conservative push to repeal the law.

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A judge in Mississippi on Wednesday extended an injunction on a state law aimed at shutting down its sole surviving abortion clinic, according to CNN.

The order keeps the abortion clinic open and gives the plaintiffs an opportunity to argue why the law is unconstitutional and should be struck down.

Here's the backstory.

As expected, the Republican-led House voted 244-185 on Wednesday to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Five Democrats joined all Republicans in favor of repeal.

GOP leadership pointed out yesterday that it would be the chamber's 33rd vote to repeal, dismantle or defund President Obama's signature law.

Hours earlier, various House Democrats told TPM that despite their inevitable defeat on Wednesday's repeal bill, which will perish in the Senate, they were confident that the health care law will stand the test of time.

House Republicans will vote Wednesday to repeal 'Obamacare' -- again.

"To date, 32 Floor votes have been taken to repeal, defund, or dismantle ObamaCare. Tomorrow's vote to repeal ObamaCare will be the 33rd," read an advisory from the office of Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

The vote, which follows the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, signals that the conservative base's visceral opposition to the law remains strong. Republicans are set for another unanimous show of resistance to President Obama's signature law, despite some hedging from politically vulnerable members, and will probably pick off a handful of vulnerable Democrats.

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The GOP's central argument against President Obama's renewed push to let taxes rise on incomes over $250,000 is that it'll target small businesses. The party's rhetoric obscures the fact that the plan will hike taxes on just a minor fraction small business filers.

"What the President is proposing is therefore a massive tax increase on job creators and on small business," Romney said Monday. "Small businesses are overwhelmingly being taxed not at a corporate rate, but at the individual tax rate. So successful small businesses will see their taxes go up dramatically and that will kill jobs."

But to what extent would Obama's tax plan actually affect small businesses?

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The GOP's case against returning tax rates on income above $250,000 to Clinton-era levels on Tuesday hit a nerve with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who went on an epic rant declaring the Republican argument a bad case of déjà vu.

At his weekly press briefing, TPM asked Hoyer to respond to Republican leaders' argument that President Obama's push to continue only the middle class tax cuts from the Bush era amounts to a small business tax hike that will harm economic growth.

The No. 2 House Democrat said the tax increase will only affect some 3 percent of small businesses and will hardly tank the economy -- and then he unloaded on Republicans, recalling that party leaders made a similar case in 1993 against President Clinton's tax hike.

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