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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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States that refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act are now paying the price, literally.

A new Kaiser Family Foundation report released last week suggests that the Republican-controlled non-expansion states are seeing their share of Medicaid costs rise more sharply than expansion states.

The trend undercuts a popular argument against the Medicaid expansion in states where Republican leaders continue to resist opting into the program, under which the federal government pays 100 percent of costs through 2016 and at least 90 percent share after.

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For the first time since the spike after the 2013 Newtown shooting, a majority of Americans support for stricter gun laws, a Gallup poll released Monday finds. Fifty-five percent of Americans say the laws covering the sale of firearms should be more strict, up from 47 percent in 2014. Meanwhile, only 33 percent said gun laws should remain as they are and 11 percent would like to see laws loosened up.

For the survey, Gallup polled 1,015 adults nationwide via telephone interviews from Oct. 7-11, 2015. The poll has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

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As a Nov. 3 deadline to raise the debt ceiling looms, the House is set to vote on a bill this week that critics have labeled a cop out on Congress’ duty to raise the debt limit and avoid defaulting on the national debt.

The bill -- dubbed the “Default Prevention Act” -- would direct the Treasury Department, in the event of a debt ceiling breach, to continue to borrow in order to keep paying Social Security, as well the principal and interest on public debt. But the government would not be able to borrow for any of its other functions until the debt ceiling was raised.

The bill is moving forward even though Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is reportedly signaling privately that he will advance a clean debt ceiling hike with the help of Democratic votes before he leaves office, thereby avoiding a debt default.

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An anonymous ally of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) told CBS News that the House Ways and Means chair is warming up to the idea of running for House speaker, but will not engage in any "horse trading" with the conservative hardliners who so far have roiled GOP leadership in recent months.

According to the report, Ryan will only run if he can gain the support of his caucus on his conservative record alone, which has been questioned by some on the hard right. CBS News' source said Ryan would consider meeting with the hardliners -- oft associated with the House Freedom Caucus -- but would not submit to any of the concessions the group has sought to extract from a future speaker.

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A federal judge issued a temporary order Friday allowing Texas to continue rejecting an ID commonly used by undocumented immigrants when seeking birth certificates for their U.S.-born children, NPR reported over the weekend.

According to the order, Texas can maintain its policy of refusing to accept matriculas -- a form of IDs issued from Mexican consulates that are popular among undocumented immigrants -- as the case proceeds. However, the judge -- Austin-based District Judge Robert Pitman -- said he was "troubled" by the fact that children of undocumented immigrants were not being issued a birth certificate, as "a birth certificate is a vital and important document" and the challengers had raised "grave concerns."

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A frequent guest on Fox News claimed he worked 27 years for the CIA but in fact never worked for the agency, according to a federal indictment announced Thursday.

Wayne Shelby Simmons was arrested following his indictment by a federal grand jury for fraud, accused of lying about his employment at agency, the U.S. Attorney's Office of Eastern Virginia announced. Simmons was often a guest on Fox News and touted as a national security analyst. He is being charged with major fraud against the United States, wire fraud, and making false statements to the government, the U.S. Attorney's Office press release said.

"He's not affiliated with the network," Fox News spokesperson Carly Shanahan told TPM following the announcement, either as a paid pundit or contributor.

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Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) called the outcry over the state's mass closure of DMV offices after passing a photo voter ID law "race politics at its worst," in remarks to state Republican leaders in a closed-door meeting last week.

A recording of the Oct. 7 meeting was obtained by AL.com. In it, Bentley discussed with 17 members of the state GOP Steering Committee the Alabama budget woes that had prompted the closures and dismissed the concerns it would make harder for residents -- especially African-Americans in the rural regions particularly hard hit by the closures -- to vote.

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The $4.8 million TV and radio ad blitz in New Hampshire by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his associated super Pacs has done little to bump up his polling in the state, which is considered crucial to his campaign.

A report by Politico Thursday notes that in the weeks since the ad buy -- which has pro-Bush ads taking up 60 percent of the political airspace in the state -- the former governor's average poll numbers have actually dipped down, from 9 percent to 8.7 percent.

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Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and other Congressional leaders Thursday pushing up his previous estimate of when his department would exhaust the "extraordinary measures" to continue to finance government operations. The Treasury Department now believes Congress will need to raise the debt ceiling by Nov. 3 to avoid a default, earlier than previously estimated deadline of Nov. 5.

"At that point, we expect Treasury would be left with less than $30 billion to meet all of the nation’s commitments—an amount far short of net expenditures on certain days, which can be as high as $60 billion," Lew wrote.

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It is looking more and more likely that Speaker John Boehner will stiff House conservatives and push through an increase in the debt limit with the help of Democratic votes before he steps down. It would be a fitting parting shot to end his speakership.

If the last few years of budget brinkmanship and debt ceiling showdowns were theater, then a standalone, drama-free debt ceiling vote arranged by Boehner on his way out would be the play's denouement. It was Boehner after all, who starting in 2011, escalated the strategy of using debt ceiling votes to seek concessions on spending from Democrats.

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