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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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If the conservative voters who handed the GOP the Senate had an Obamacare repeal on their one-year wish list, they’re likely to be disappointed come this fall.

Republicans' promises that Obamacare would be on the chopping block as soon the GOP took control of the Senate are unlikely to be met by years’ end. After years of heated rhetoric, over-the-top campaign ads and even Supreme Court challenges, the repeal Obamacare movement continues to be a can kicked farther down the road. GOP congressional leaders are facing the political reality that the party lacks a concrete alternative to Obamacare, the votes to repeal it and, in the immediate future, a crowded calendar of extremely pressing other issues.

Now, GOP lawmakers are trying to figure out how to let down easily the base they primed for repeal across three election cycles, with some leaders lowering expectations for repeal maneuvers in the months to come and other Republicans weighing efforts to tweak the law instead.

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South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) said that the unrest across the country after the deaths of unarmed black men by police officers was hurting, not helping African Americans.

"Black lives do matter and they have been disgracefully jeopardized by the movement that has laid waste to Ferguson and Baltimore," Haley said, speaking at the National Press Club in Washington Wednesday.

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A Kentucky clerk who is refusing to grant marriage licenses to gay couples is set to become an issue in the state's gubernatorial race, as the leading Republican and Democratic candidates take opposing views of her actions.

"I absolutely support her willingness to stand on her First Amendment rights," said GOP Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin on a national conference call, according to The Courier-Journal. "Without any question I support her."

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) suggested Tuesday that a Kentucky clerk who is refusing to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples was "making a stand" and "an important part of the American way." But he argued the whole situation could have been avoided if states stopped processing marriage licenses entirely.

"I think people who do stand up and are making a stand to say that they believe in something is an important part of the American way," Paul told Boston Herald Radio, according to The Washington Post.

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Facing criticisms from various quarters that the way CNN had structured its Sept. 16 debate would leave out Carly Fiorina despite her bump in the polls after August's "kiddie table" debate, CNN announced a rule change Tuesday that will open the door for candidates who have surged in more recent polls to participate in the main debate.

Under the previous criteria, the candidates that placed in the top 10 in an average of approved national polls between July 16 and September 10 would be invited to the main debate, which is being held in Simi Valley California.

The rule change announced Tuesday stipulates that if a candidate does not make that top 10 cut off, but makes the top 10 based on polls between August 7 and September 10, he or she "will be added to the debate stage and will appear in 'Segment B' of the debate." Segment B is the main debate of the top-tier candidates.

As things stand now, Fiorina would not qualify for the main debate under the old criteria, but would qualify under the new criteria, CNN said in its report on the change. The rule change means that more than 10 candidates could end up participating in the main debate.

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said Tuesday that things had "run amok" with reports that he was open to building a wall on the U.S.' northern border and that all the talk was "just a joke."

Appearing on Fox News' "America’s Newsroom," the 2016 candidate addressed criticisms he had received after he said Sunday that building a wall was a "legitimate issue" to be considered.

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A well-known confidante of Dr. Ben Carson said Tuesday that questions about the candidate's views on a Kentucky clerk's refusal to grant marriage licenses to gay couples are just "trying to create something that's new."

“Dr. Carson has said since the Supreme Court ruling that it is the law of land and that's what he respects,” a highly agitated Armstrong Williams told TPM in a phone interview.

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James O'Keefe promised a new undercover video campaign that would expose "illegal activity conducted by high-level employees within Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign." Tuesday, he released the first video, produced by his group Project Veritas Action.

His group's big scoop?

That a Canadian citizen spent $75 on Hillary swag at Clinton's June campaign kickoff event.

Reporters at the press conference O'Keefe held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to unveil the latest "gotcha" could not contain their disdain.

"Is this a joke?" one reporter asked O'Keefe.

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