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

WASHINGTON — New York Sen. Chuck Schumer won't be the Democratic leader for 21 months. But the man who has locked up the support of top Democrats to replace Harry Reid is already facing a tough leadership test.

It's crunch time for President Barack Obama as he seeks to prevent Congress from achieving a veto-proof majority to scuttle a major deal to curtail Iran's nuclear program. Many Republicans are unhappy with the framework for an agreement to cut off Iran's paths to a bomb and are pushing legislation that the White House says would threaten the negotiations.

Republicans appear to have large majorities to pass it, and that includes support from a significant number of Democrats in both chambers. But the question of whether they achieve the two-thirds majority in the Senate could hinge on Schumer and the role he decides to play.

"He will play a big role," said one senior Senate Democratic aide.

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WASHINGTON — Rolling out his long-awaited presidential campaign on Tuesday, Rand Paul billed himself as "a different kind of Republican" who would defeat the "Washington machine."

"That's not who I am," he declared in Louisville, to cheers from an adoring crowd. "Both parties and the entire political system are to blame."

But how different is he from the traditional Republican politician?

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott reversed his position Monday on the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, deciding that his state should not adopt it after all.

The stakes are enormous as the Republican governor's decision means that as many as 800,000 low-income Floridians could go without health insurance. Under Obamacare the federal government was tasked with covering the full cost until 2017 and at least 90 percent thereafter.

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WASHINGTON — Loretta Lynch received a boost recently when Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois announced his support for her nomination as attorney general, bringing her tally to 51 supporters in the Senate.

That's enough for the chief federal prosecutor in Brooklyn to win confirmation.

But the fate of the high-profile nomination rests with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who decides if and when she gets a vote and has delayed it indefinitely by entangling Lynch in an unrelated political battle over abortion.

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