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

After spending President Obama's first term emboldening the most ideologically intense elements of the conservative movement, elected Republicans are now finding themselves in a box on critical issues like health care and taxes with limited options to avert national crises.

On health care, Republicans are coming to grips with the prospect of owning a mess of a system if the Supreme Court overturns 'Obamacare' this month.

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The Associated Press reports:

ATHENS, Greece — The pro-bailout New Democracy party came in first Sunday in Greece's national election, and its leader has proposed forming a pro-euro coalition government.

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras says "the Greek people today voted for Greece to remain on its European path and in the eurozone."

President Obama's move Friday to grant immunity and temporary legal status to some young undocumented immigrants is putting his rival Mitt Romney in an irreconcilable predicament between Latinos and his immigration-weary conservative base.

Appearing Sunday on CBS' "Face The Nation," Romney three separate times declined to say whether he'd reverse Obama's decision if elected president.

"What I would do, is I'd make sure that by coming into office, I would work with Congress to put in place a long-term solution for the children of those that have come here illegally," Romney said. "My anticipation is I'd come into office and say we need to get this done, on a long-term basis, not this kind of stop-gap measure." He refrained from getting specific.

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Rick Santorum said Sunday that his candidate Mitt Romney is trying to strike a delicate balance on immigration in order to avoid alienating Hispanics.

"No, he's trying to walk the line. And look, I understand that," Santorum said on CNN's "State of the Union." "He's trying to walk the line so as not to sound like he's hostile to Latinos -- and swing [voters] in very important states."

Staking out policy positions on the basis of raw political calculus is common for candidates. But the willingness of Santorum -- a Romney surrogate, albeit a reluctant one -- to openly concede that is noteworthy as campaigns rarely, if ever, publicly admit that they temper their issue stances on the basis of political considerations.

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Appearing Sunday on CBS' "Face The Nation," Mitt Romney stuck by his primary-era vow to reject a 10:1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases to tame the deficit.

His exchange with Bob Scheiffer:

SCHIEFFER: You were one of the vast majority of Republicans to signed the pledge circulated by the leading anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist, no new taxes under any circumstances. And I remember once back during one of the primaries, you were asked if you would agree to $1 in taxes if you could get $10 cut in spending cuts, and you said at that time, no, I wouldn’t even accept that. Do you still feel that way?

ROMNEY: Well, we all felt that way. And the reason is that government, at all levels today, consumes about 37% of our economy.

SCHIEFFER: But do you still feel ...

ROMNEY: Let me go on and explain. The answer is I do feel that way. Government is big and getting larger, and there are those who think the answer is just to take a little more from the American people, just give us a little more. and there are places that have gone that way– California, for instance, keeps raising taxes more and more and more. and funny thing, the more they raise in taxes, deficits get larger and larger. The only solution to taming an out-of-control spending government is to cut spending and my policies reduce the rate of spending. ... That's the way that we're going to balance our budget: getting people back to work with rising incomes again.

Watch the video, via ThinkProgress

Rodney King was found dead on Sunday at 47, according to CNN and ABC News.

In 1991, police were caught on video tape beating King, and their subsequent acquittal lead to the riots in Los Angeles.

Mitt Romney on Sunday declined say whether he would reverse President Obama's decision to grant immunity to some undocumented immigrants if elected president.

Pressed three times on CBS' "Face The Nation" by Bob Scheiffer, he criticized the procedural aspect of Obama's move but ducked the substance.

"This is something Congress has been working on, and I thought we were about to see some proposals brought forward by Senator Marco Rubio and by Democrat senators, but the President jumped in and said I'm going to take this action," Romney said. "... He was president for the last three and a half years and did nothing on immigration. Two years he had a Democrat House and Senate, did nothing of a permanent or long-term basis. What I would do, is I'd make sure that by coming into office, I would work with Congress to put in place a long-term solution for the children of those that have come here illegally."

White House senior adviser David Plouffe on Sunday declined to offer any hints on how it would respond if the Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act later this month.

"I'm not going to get into any contingencies," he said on ABC's "This Week." "We obviously will be prepared for whatever decision the court renders."

House GOP Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) said Sunday that if the Supreme Court strikes down 'Obamacare' this month, Republicans would look to solve the resulting health care challenges without government mandates.

"Whatever the Court does will dictate what kind of response [we have]," he said on CSPAN. "My sense is there won't be significant disruption in the real world immediately, almost regardless of what the court does. A lot of the things that have been put in place are contracts -- so they're contracts between an employer and an insurance company, or an employee and an insurance company. And that contract -- as I understand it, the experts that we've talked to -- stands regardless of what the court does."

"Depending on what disruptions are out there [for patients, we'll] determine the best course of action," Price said.

Then he offered a hint on how he hopes to approach the challenges.

"We believe that there are wonderful solutions to fix the challenges in health care that don't require putting Washington in charge -- whether it's getting folks covered or solving the insurance challenges of portability and pre-existing [conditions], or saving hundreds of billions of dollars. We can do all those things without putting the politicians or bureaucrats here in Washington in charge."

Asked how he would pay for those fixes without an individual mandate, a problem that health policy experts often point to, Price said: "The savings -- there's so much waste in health care right now."

His remarks come as Republicans privately consider supporting some of the more popular concepts in 'Obamacare' in a potential replacement plan, if the law is overturned.

White House senior adviser David Plouffe sounded off on Mitt Romney on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday.

"The American people have to make a choice," Plouffe said. "[Romney] will rubber stamp the Congressional Republican agenda, which would take us back to the policies of the Great Recession, and it would do great harm to the middle class and shortchange our future."

"The president said the American people need to break the stalemate," he added.