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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

Sen. Chuck Schumer's (D-NY) remarks Tuesday that Democrats erred by passing Obamacare in 2010 before the economy was fixed did not sit well with Obamaworld.

"Unfortunately, Democrats lost the opportunity the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem — health care reform," the No. 3 Senate Democrat said at the National Press Club, arguing that his party should have focused on middle class woes at the time instead. He added: "It has been reported that only a third of the uninsured are even registered to vote."

Former aides to President Barack Obama took to Twitter to knock Schumer.

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Sen. Ted Cruz is not "all that conservative," says Sen. Ted Cruz.

The Texas Republican and tea party favorite made the unexpected remarks to Jewish donors in New York City, according to the New York Observer.

He said: “I don’t think I’m all that conservative. And it’s interesting. Reagan never once beat his chest and said ‘I’m the most conservative guy who ever lived.’ Reagan said, ‘I’m defending common sense principles—small businesses, small towns.'”

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New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that Democrats made a mistake by setting their sights on health care reform early in President Barack Obama's first term, arguing that his party should have focused on fixing the economy first.

"Unfortunately, Democrats lost the opportunity the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem — health care reform," the No. 3 Democratic senator, a leader on messaging and policy, told reporters in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington.

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Americans are evenly divided as to whether President Barack Obama should act unilaterally to reshape the immigration system but they broadly oppose a government shutdown as a way to stop him, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

By a 68 to 25 percent margin, voters don't want Congress to shut down "major activities of the federal government" in order to thwart Obama's executive actions on immigration.

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Republicans have promised that Congress will act to counter President Barack Obama's sweeping executive actions on immigration and deportations. But the party is divided on what to do, with the conservative flank pushing for confrontation while party leaders urge restraint and take the temperature for a more cautious approach.

"If we handle this poorly it could blow up in our face," said John Feehery, a longtime Republican strategist turned lobbyist who supports immigration reform.

One possibility that has faded quickly is impeachment. Even immigration reform arch-enemy Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has ruled it out. "I don't want to do the 'I word.' Nobody wants to throw the nation into that kind of turmoil," he told CNN on Thursday after Obama's announcement.

The GOP could begin to establish a course of action as early as next week, when Congress returns from the Thanksgiving recess, although it might take longer as some aides point out that the newly elected senators will want to have a say once they take office in January.

"There are options like funding restrictions, or just straight-up legislation. But people are looking at all kinds of ideas," one senior Republican aide said.

Here is the TPM breakdown of the possible scenarios, with early and unofficial, back-of-the-envelope probabilities for each one being attempted (none of which precludes other options). Each option contains significant pitfalls for Republicans when it comes to ultimately reversing what they universally decry as a lawless usurpation of legislative power by Obama.

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has an outside-the-box idea for President Barack Obama: tap Joe Lieberman to replace Chuck Hagel, who announced on Monday he will step down as secretary of defense.

Cruz called the Democrat-turned-independent former senator a "strong option."

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Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) called to leave a scathing message earlier this year with the Democratic state senator who sealed the demise of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, according to the Washington Post.

Phillip Puckett had resigned abruptly in June amid private talks with Virginia Republicans about a state job, swinging control of the closely divided chamber to the GOP, which was fighting the expansion for some 400,000 residents.

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A battle is heating up between two top Republicans over the coveted chairmanship of the Senate Budget Committee, carrying implications for the ability of the new GOP Congress to govern as well as the emerging clash over immigration.

The turf war pits Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the committee's ranking member, against Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), a longtime committee member who asserts seniority over his Alabama colleague and is now seeking to reclaim it.

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