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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

The new Congress will convene on Tuesday and elect a House Speaker. That means renewed drama and speculation as to whether conservatives will finally topple Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and install one of their own to run the chamber.

It's highly unlikely. Here are five things to keep in mind.

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Fox News host Sean Hannity wants Rep. Trey Gowdy to challenge John Boehner for Speaker of the House, but the South Carolina Republican says he isn't interested.

Hannity made his thoughts known in a pair of emails to Breitbart News during a rocky week for House GOP leadership, with Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) admitting he spoke at a white supremacist gathering in 2002. Boehner and his leadership team have stood by Scalise.

"It's time for new dynamic leadership in the House of Representatives. Trey Gowdy is my choice for speaker. He has the ability to articulate and implement the changes needed to get the country on the right path," the Fox News host said, apparently becoming the first prominent conservative to push Gowdy, a second-term congressman who chairs the House select committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks, to seek the job of Speaker.

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The 2014 elections were about as brutal for Democrats as they could have imagined. But it wasn't such a bad year for the party otherwise. President Barack Obama gave up on working with Republicans on big issues, and instead relied on his executive authority to implement a slew of important reforms.

Here are five big things he did this year without the help of Republicans.

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President Barack Obama can thank outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for triggering the "nuclear option" in November 2013 and securing him one of the most robust judicial legacies of any modern president.

In six years, he has appointed a whopping 307 judges, who will shape the law for decades after he leaves office. The final 12 district judges were confirmed in the closing night of the Senate session on Tuesday, Reid's final move before Democrats surrender control of the chamber.

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