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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

Hershey, Pa. — A Republican congressman is criticizing his party for overreaching with its new legislation to thwart President Barack Obama's deportation relief programs.

"I think it's a clear overreach," California Rep. Jeff Denham told reporters at the bicameral GOP retreat on Thursday at a resort in this Pennsylvania town. "I think not having a clear message on the issue is a drag on the party."

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The Democrats' progressive wing is enjoying a renaissance since the party's crushing defeat in the 2014 midterm election, chalking up victories and capturing the attention of congressional leaders on causes near and dear to their hearts.

Some of the change is structural. The election wiped out red state senators and House members in less progressive districts, reducing the new minority party to a more ideologically cohesive unit. The loss of the Democrats' Senate majority also breaks a four-year holding pattern in which leaders had to cut deals with the conservative-dominated House, making it somewhat easier for them to stand or fall on principle.

"It's very, very liberating," said one Democratic Senate leadership aide.

The left's determination to take the reins of the party is having an impact. Here are five prominent examples since the election.

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Updated: 1:10 PM EST

Government shutdown wars are back with a vengeance.

House Republicans teed up a new standoff on Wednesday with passage of legislation that overturns President Barack Obama's executive actions on deportation relief for millions of undocumented immigrants.

The bill passed 236-191, with 10 Republicans voting against it and 2 Democrats supporting it.

The legislation is tied to the funding of the Department of Homeland Security, which expires on Feb. 28. The department will partially shut down if a bill isn't enacted by then. The rest of the government is funded through September.

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A bipartisan group of congressional leaders met with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday morning in the White House.

The White House said the meeting would be to "discuss a wide range of issues, including places where [Obama] hopes we can work together to grow the economy and protect our national security."

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said before the meeting he plans to talk to Obama about jobs and the economy.

"We also hope the president will have an update for us on the use of military force with regard to our fight against ISIL," he told reporters. "The events in Paris last week remind us just how real that terrorism threat is."

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The House GOP's threatened shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security would not stop President Barack Obama's executive actions to grant temporary deportation relief and work permits to millions of undocumented immigrants. But in an ironic twist, experts say it would hinder two priorities near and dear to Republican hearts: border security and deportations.

"If somebody were writing a play about this and they wanted to put a perverse circumstance in it that gave the president this smirk authority over the Congress, this is what we've done," Rep. Steve King (R-IA), a leading foe of "executive amnesty" in the House, told TPM.

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