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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

WASHINGTON — It's common in Congress for the parties to rip each other apart over the contents of a bill. But it's exceedingly rare for one party to accuse the other of trying to sneak a law into existence without telling them.

An overwhelmingly bipartisan Senate bill to combat human trafficking hit a wall last week after Democrats said they discovered a provision to impose new limits on abortion rights, and threatened to filibuster the bill unless the provision is removed.

Senate Republican leaders now find themselves caught between wanting to show they can pass even the most noncontroversial legislation and the passions of the pro-life base they roped into the battle by making it a high-stakes proxy war over abortion.

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WASHINGTON — The new Republican-led Congress marched right up to the edge of its first cliff, peered over the precipice and nearly jumped.

It came within moments of shutting down the Department of Homeland Security over an unrelated dispute about immigration, but managed to avert the crisis. And yet, that was one of the easier tasks facing Republican leaders.

If the first 10 weeks of 2015 are any indication, they have a rough ride ahead. Anxious conservatives see these essential items as their only vehicle to force reforms they yearn for in the face of implacable Democratic and White House opposition.

Here are five major "cliffs" — deadlines by which legislation must be passed in order to avoid disruptions in major federal programs — on the horizon.

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Updated: 2:20 P.M. EST

WASHINGTON — Democrats rejected an offer by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Thursday to hold a Senate vote to strip out anti-abortion language from a stalled bill to combat human trafficking.

"The way to handle the issue is very simple: just take it out of the the bill," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said, upon objecting.

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