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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

Tens of thousands of Americans descended on Washington for the annual March For Life on Thursday only to see House Republicans melt down over their signature issue: abortion.

A symbolic messaging bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy threw the party into disarray and was abruptly pulled at the last minute after a group of GOP women and swing-district lawmakers raised hackles over a rape-exception provision that required victims of sexual assault to report the crime to authorities before they could get an abortion.

"None of us saw it coming," Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) told reporters on Thursday.

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A routine anti-abortion messaging bill is causing consternation among House Republicans as some GOP women rebel against rape-related language.

As a result, House Republicans are discussing ways to tweak the legislation, which bans abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, the bill's author Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) told TPM.

"My heart is open if we can find some way to make it better," Franks said in an interview just off the House floor on Wednesday. "But at this point I don't know what that is. There seems to be no consensus as to how we could make it better."

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House Republicans intend to vote this week on legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a move to lay down their marker in the 114th Congress on a controversy that has roiled the nation for decades.

In an unusual move, some Republican women are rebelling against language that requires women to report a sexual assault to authorities in order to legally terminate a pregnancy resulting from rape.

Tuesday on the House floor, Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) asked to remove their names as cosponsors of the bill.

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Sen. Marco Rubio told reporters on Wednesday he doesn’t plan to run for president and reelection to the Senate at the same time in 2016.

If he seeks the presidency, the Florida Republican said, “I won’t be able to run for reelect.”

“If I decide that I want to be president of the United States then that’s what I’m going to run for,” he said at a Washington breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “I think if you want to be president, that’s what you want to be and that’s what you run for, what you focus on.”

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Republicans were irked by President Barack Obama's caustic reminder in his State of the Union speech that he defeated them twice.

"I've run my last campaign," Obama said toward the end of the nationally televised address. Republicans in the chamber applauded derisively, which prompted the president to ad-lib a zinger which wasn't in his prepared remarks: "I know because I won both of them."

Democrats erupted with applause.

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Barack Obama wants to mainline progressivism into the bloodstream of America the way Ronald Reagan ushered in a generation of conservatism.

That's the lofty goal of the president's penultimate State of the Union address on Tuesday night, as his senior aides tell it. He's stymied for the remainder of his presidency by a Republican Congress wedded to a Reaganesque mentality, but the White House views the recent spate of positive economic news as an opportunity for Obama to aggressively make the "long-term" case for embracing government as an agent to help the middle class.

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