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

Appearing on ABC's "This Week," Democratic National Committee Chair and Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) went after Mitt Romney over his remarks about women and equal pay.

"On Lilly Ledbetter, I mean I think it's very telling. Mitt Romney, on a point blank question the other night in the debate, refused to answer whether he believes in equal pay for equal work," Wasserman Schultz said. "He refers to women as binders and resumes. You know, a callous sort of brush-off."

Appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a Mitt Romney surrogate, criticized the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, but not the principle of equal pay for women.

"I think anyone who is working out there any making a living -- if you're the most qualified person for the job, you should be able to get paid, you should get paid as much as your male counterpart. Everyone agrees with that principle," Rubio said. "But just because they call a piece of legislation an equal pay bill doesn't make it so. In fact, much of this legislation is, in many respects, nothing but an effort to help trial lawyers collect their fees and file lawsuits, which may not contribute at all whatsoever to increasing pay equity in the workplace."

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) went after House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) for publicly posting State Department cables that compromised the names of several Libyans working with the United States and put them in danger.

"This idea of Chairman Issa, that he's going to dump the names in public of Libyans who are risking their lives to support America and keep us safe, in an effort to get a political toehold in this election is unconscionable," Durbin said. "It is unacceptable."

Ahead of the final presidential debate, on foreign policy, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) had harsh words for President Obama on Libya.

"This is going to be a case study, studied for years, of a breadown of national security at every level," he said. "Failed presidential leadership. Senior members of the Obama administration failed miserably."

"We should have clsoed that consulate long before September 11th or heavily reinforced it, and I put that on the president of the United States."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on Fox News Sunday that the U.S. should not bother with one-on-one talks with Iran over its nuclear program.

"They continue to enrich, enrich. I think the time for talking is over. We should be demanding transparenty and access to their nuclear program," he said. "As we continue to talk, they continue to enrich."

The one specific idea Mitt Romney has floated to pay for his nearly $5 trillion in proposed tax cuts would cover only a fraction of the cost, according to a new nonpartisan study released Wednesday.

Capping itemized deductions available to taxpayers at $17,000 -- which Romney has mentioned as one possible way to make his plan revenue-neutral -- would raise just $1.7 trillion over 10 years, according to the Tax Policy Center. TPC averred that his lack of specifics in other areas makes its analysis imperfect.

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On Tuesday, one of Mitt Romney's boldest claims -- that his new jobs plan will create 12 million jobs -- fell apart.

Quizzed about the claim by Washington Post's fact-checker Glenn Kessler, the Romney campaign cited three separate studies that, taken together, include numbers that add up to 12 million jobs created. But as Kessler found, the studies employ different time frames, and two of them have no bearing on Romney's policies.

And, it turns out, not all of the authors believe their research helps justify Romney's conclusion either.

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On MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) said Mitt Romney's tax reform plan -- at least its promise of revenue neutrality -- is one big fraud.

"Mitt Romney is perpetrating a fraud on the American people," he said. Referring to Romney's $5 trillion plan, Kerry said, "If you gave him all the deductions that there are ... you've got $2.5 trillion. He doesn't want all the deductions. And he's trying to fake it to the American people."

"You have a man running for the presidency of the United States of America on the central issue of our time and he's not being straight with the American people. I find it stunning -- it's to me disqualifying."

One of Mitt Romney's top surrogates acknowledged Tuesday that the GOP candidate's tax plan will only be revenue neutral if it sparks a degree of economic growth most economists regard as wildly implausible.

At the same time he warned Romney against targeting popular tax benefits as sources of new revenue to help pay for his plan to cut taxes by $5 trillion.

Taken together, the comments illustrate just how difficult it would be for any president to reform the tax code, and serve as a reminder that Romney's tax plan is particularly dubious -- and would likely require either increasing middle class taxes or tolerating significantly higher budget deficits.

"There will be a very helpful debate about whether things like the charitable deduction, the health insurance premium, the home interest deduction should be part of the deal," said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) at a Bloomberg View event.

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