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Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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A House Democrat will offer an amendment to abolish Congress' special committee on the Benghazi, in a move that simultaneously hits Republicans on Planned Parenthood and on House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) Benghazi "gaffe."

According to a spokesperson for Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), the ranking member of the House Rules Committee, Slaughter will offer the amendment Tuesday evening while the committee debates a bill to form a special committee to further investigate Planned Parenthood. The amendment would strike through the Planned Parenthood language and replace it with language dismantling the Benghazi Committee, the spokesperson said in an email.

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A representative for Vice President Joe Biden pushed back on a Politico report Tuesday that suggested Biden had told New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd his dying son's wish that he run for president to "trial balloon" a potential campaign.

"The bottom line on the Politico story is that it is categorically false and the characterization is offensive," a Biden spokesperson told NBC News. Biden's team, however, did not confirm or deny that the vice president told Dowd that story.

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In a lengthy blog post published on his presidential campaign website Tuesday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) claimed the father of Oregon gunman Chris Harper Mercer was a "complete failure" and demanded that he apologize for the shooting.

In the blog post -- titled "We fill Our Culture With Garbage, And We Reap The Result" -- Jindal blamed the prevalence of mass shootings in America on "deep and serious cultural decay in our society," jumping from a condemnation of violence in media and a reference to abortion to a discussion of the reported absence of the father of the Harper Mercer in the young man's life.

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House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) renewed his call for the restoration of the Voting Rights Act, suggesting Monday that it would have stopped Alabama from implementing a law requiring a photo ID at the ballot box.

Scrutiny of the voter ID law has increased with the announcement that Alabama will close 31 driver's licenses offices in the state – many in rural counties with a high percentage of black residents – which voting rights advocates fear will make it harder for African-Americans to obtain the IDs required vote.

“The Voting Rights Act was born from the bloody actions in Selma, Alabama, in March 1965, and since the Supreme Court struck down one of its most important protections – the federal Justice Department’s ability to prevent discriminatory rules like Alabama’s photo identification requirement – our democracy has been weakened," Hoyer said in a statement Monday evening.

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The details of Maureen Dowd's Aug. 1 New York Times column recounting the dying wish of Beau Biden that his father Joe Biden run for President came from the vice president himself, according to a Politico report.

Anonymous sources close to Biden told Politico the vice president conveyed the anecdote in what the article called a "trial balloon." The column kicked off renewed speculation about a Biden candidacy.

Beau died of brain cancer in May.

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Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) -- who is challenging House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as the conservative alternative to replace House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) -- said he would be willing to risk a default on the national debt or a government shutdown to extract demands from President Obama.

"I have no interest in just simply raising the debt ceiling without changing the trajectory of spending," Chaffetz told CNN Monday. "It's a time where we should be reflecting on, what are we going to do so that we don't have to keep changing the debt ceiling and raising it."

The Treasury Department has signaled a Nov. 5 deadline for raising the debt ceiling, which is only days after Boehner is set to step down from the speakership. In 2011, Standard & Poors downgraded the U.S.'s credit rating after Republicans seemed willing to blow past the debt ceiling deadline.

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Facing accusations of bringing back Jim Crow, Alabama officials are arguing that the closure of 31 driver's license offices will not make it harder to vote in the state -- which requires government-issued photo IDs at the ballot box -- because of the state's efforts to provide a free state-issued ID for voting.

However, since the photo ID voting law went into effect in 2014, only a small portion of the estimated 250,000 Alabamans who do not already have the accepted IDs have obtained the free version. In 2014, an election year, only 5,294 of those IDs were issued, state officials told TPM.

The number of IDs issued this year is even smaller. As of September 28, 1,442 IDs had been issued since January 2, 2015.

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A top civil rights legal group, citing a likely violation of voting rights, suggested possible legal action against Alabama for its decision to close 31 of its driver's license offices. The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund has requested to meet with Alabama state officials in person to express the group's concerns that the DMV closures will make it harder for residents -- particularly African Americans in the state's "Black Belt" -- to obtain the government-issued photo IDs required to vote under Alabama law.

NAACP-LDF President Sherrilyn Ifill sent a letter Friday to Gov. Robert Bentley (R), Secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Spencer Collier (R) and Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R), in which she suggested a "strong likelihood" that Alabama’s actions violated the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution. She said there was a "potential need for immediate legal action" by the group.

"By closing these offices, the State will drastically reduce the number of sites where potential voters can obtain photo ID, creating a substantial and disproportionate burden on Black people’s ability to participate in the political process in Alabama," the letter said.

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The U.S. House member representing Alabama's only majority minority district district has requested that the Department of Justice investigate the closure of 31 driver's licenses offices in the state as a possible violation of her constituents' constitutional right to vote.

Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) released a letter Monday to Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking the department to investigate the closures in a state which requires government-issued photo IDs to vote. Eight of the 14 counties in Sewell's district will be without a DMV, the letter said.

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The state of Alabama has been accused of bringing back Jim Crow for closing 31 driver’s licenses offices in the state -- including all the offices in counties where African Americans make up more than 75 percent of the registered voters -- which critics say will further disenfranchise minority voters in a state that requires government-issued photo IDs at the ballot box.

The backlash Alabama is now facing reflects the state’s long history of blocking African Americans access to the polls, from 1965’s Selma protests that ushered in the Voting Rights Act in the first place to the 2013 Supreme Court decision in the Shelby County case that gutted a key provision of it.

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