Caitlin MacNeal

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Articles by Caitlin

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Sunday said that President Obama's wish for a clean debt ceiling increase is "absurd."

"What we want to do is try to accomplish something for the country," he said about the GOP approach to raising the debt limit on "Fox News Sunday," adding that the need to raise the ceiling is a "good opportunity to try to do something about the debt."

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Matt Drudge, who runs the conservative site the Drudge Report, on Thursday said that Attorney General Eric Holder is "unleashing the dogs" on critics of President Obama, like former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza.

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Former National Security Contractor Edward Snowden on Thursday said that his return to the U.S. would be the "best resolution" for himself and the government, but he said he could not do so unless he were considered a whistleblower under federal law.

"Returning to the US, I think, is the best resolution for the government, the public, and myself, but it's unfortunately not possible in the face of current whistleblower protection laws, which through a failure in law did not cover national security contractors like myself," he said during an online chat when CNN anchor Jake Tapper asked under what conditions Snowden would return to the country.

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Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Thursday said that the federal government uses welfare to "lure" women into "servitude."

"We need to encourage and incentivize young women, not declare war on them by leading them into ruts like the Democrats did. You want to see who cares? It's the people that try to help them reach their potential, not lure them into servitude away from it," Gohmert said on "Fox and Friends," while arguing that welfare checks make women dependent on the government. "So, the problem is the government, not those single moms."

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This post has been updated.

An independent federal oversight agency found that the National Security Agency's program that collects bulk phone records is illegal and concluded that the government should shut down the program, according to an advance copy of the report obtained by the New York Times on Thursday.

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board found that the surveillance program had "minimal" benefits in preventing terrorist attacks.

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Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (R) on Tuesday moved the vote on a proposed constitutional same-sex marriage ban to a more conservative committee that would appear to increase the likelihood of its passage, according to the Huffington Post.

After Republicans in the Judiciary Committee expressed skepticism about the provision, Bosma moved the bill to the House Elections and Apportionment Committee.

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Michigan Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema, who has been criticized for anti-gay and anti-Muslim comments, is not attending the RNC's winter meeting in Washington, D.C. and blames his absence on "liberal critics within the Republican Party."

"My liberal critics within the Republican Party have chosen to elevate this discussion to the RNC Meeting and make it a drawn out fight between liberals and conservatives within the party," he said in a statement to the Detroit Free Press. "For this reason, I have decided it is best for the party that I not attend the meeting this week and instead I have sent a proxy who will vote how I want on Rules."

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