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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Two conservative House members issued a shot across the bow against any attempts to shrink the scope of Republicans' repeal of the Affordable Care Act, in a statement that "strongly" encouraged that the coming legislation to dismantle the law go at least as far as a 2015 Obamacare repeal bill.

That 2015 bill passed Congress but was vetoed by President Obama in 2016.

"There’s no reason we should put anything less on President Trump’s desk than we put on President Obama’s now that we know it will be signed into law," the statement, issued by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) Thursday, said. "We strongly encourage that this bill be brought to the floor for consideration as soon as possible so we can begin undoing this law that is hurting American families.”

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To riff on the bard, a Muslim ban by any other name is still a political and legal problem for President Donald Trump.

Defenders of a controversial immigration executive order signed by Trump last week have suddenly taken issue with calling the order a "ban," be it a "Muslim ban," a "travel ban" or otherwise. White House press secretary Sean Spicer went as far as to scold journalists for using the term, even as Trump himself has continued to use the label.

But legal experts, as well as the civil rights advocates suing over the executive order, are pointing to another comment made by Trump, that they say bolsters the case that it is a ban of some sort, and one that may be illegal. Trump, in an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network almost immediately after signing the order, said that one of its purposes was to make it easier for Christians to enter the United States.

"It seems to me the soft underbelly of the legal defense is this business about Christians, because not only is that subject to Equal Protection and Establishment Clause [questions] on its own, but it suggests that this is a Muslim ban,” said Michael Meltsner, a professor at Northeastern University School of Law.

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The head of the top trade group for health insurers confirmed Wednesday that the Trump administration had not explained what to expect from an executive order the President signed on the Affordable Care Act, which outsider experts have struggled to parse as well.

Testifying in front of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Marilyn Tavenner, the president and chief executive officer of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), told Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) that insurers had not received any additional guidance from the administration about its plans for implementing the order.

"We do not have any details on the executive order," Tavenner said, after a line of questioning from Warren about whether the Trump administration has gone into more specifics.

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President Trump fulfilled a key campaign promise Tuesday with his announcement that he was nominating federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia's death last February.

"Judge Gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline and has earned bipartisan support," Trump said in a ceremony with Gorsuch in the White House.

The 49-year-old Gorsuch, currently a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, is a judge known to be in the mold of Scalia, who Gorsuch knew personally.

"Justice Scalia was a lion of the law. Agree or disagree with him, all of his colleagues on the bench cherished his wisdom and his humor, and, like them, I miss him," Gorsuch said at the nomination ceremony.

The nomination comes as the Trump administration has brought chaos to Washington with controversy after controversy in the 11 days since the inauguration. Trump was only able to fill the seat, which has been empty for nearly a year, because Senate Republicans launched an unprecedented blockade of President Obama's nominee Merrick Garland.

Here are five points on Gorsuch and the fight that may come with his confirmation:

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Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch told reporters Tuesday that he would give Democrats "more time" to come around on their boycott of a committee meeting to vote on two of President Trump's cabinet nominees before changing the committee rules to advance the nominees to a floor vote.

Earlier Tuesday, at the morning meeting where the Finance Committee was scheduled to vote on the confirmations, Hatch said that he was "disappointed" with Democrats' refusal to show up at the meeting, stalling the confirmation process for Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) as Health and Human Services secretary and Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary.

"Now I am hopeful that when we schedule this again, that they'll be here," Hatch said Tuesday morning. "But we are going to do this again, throughout the day and see if they will come and do the job that they have been elected and sworn to do."

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Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted the committee's Tuesday morning mark-up meeting, where members were expected to vote on President Trump's nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), and his nominee for Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin.

"I am really disappointed that my friends on the other side -- our Democrats on the other side are deliberately boycotting this mark up," Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said at the meeting. Because the committee is not at a quorum, Republicans cannot move forward in advancing the nominees.

"Why that's an important thing for them I'll never understand, because these two nominee are going to go through," Hatch said.

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When then-candidate Donald Trump was stirring controversy after controversy from the stump, GOP lawmakers, wary of his proposals, vowed that they would be a check on Trump's most troubling ideas.

Less than two weeks into his presidency, Republicans are facing a major test of that vow. A broad swath of congressional GOPers have come out against Trump's immigration executive order, which was an outgrowth of his proposed Muslim ban that Republicans roundly condemned during the campaign. What lawmakers will do to act on their concerns remains to be seen.

Here is a look at what some Republicans said when the immigration ban and other extreme Trump proposals were raised during the campaign.

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The White House announced Monday that it had fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who had reportedly ordered the Department of Justice not to defend the controversial immigration executive order President Trump signed Friday. Yates had "betrayed the Department of Justice," by refusing to defend the order, a White House press release said.

Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, has replaced Yates as Acting Attorney General, the White House said. Boente was appointed to the U.S. Attorney position by former President Obama in 2015.

According to a White House pool report, senior assistant press secretary Michael Short told the pool reporter that Boente had been sworn in around 9 p.m. and that he had the authority to sign foreign surveillance warrants.

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Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Corker (R-TN) said that it was possible that Congress would take legislative action to address the concerns lawmakers have raised about President Trump's immigration executive order, if the administration wasn't able to clear up the issues in the next few days.

"I think they understand it was a misfire here," Corker told reporters Monday on Capitol Hill. "I'd rather them have a few days to come back and talk to us a little bit more about what they're really going to do, and then I'd judge that, and then there might be some legislative action. "

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