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

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The U.S. Navy plans to increase sonar testing over the next five years, even as research it funded reveals worrying signs that the loud underwater noise could disturb whales and dolphins.

Reported mass strandings of certain whale species have increased worldwide since the military started using sonar half a century ago. Scientists think the sounds scare animals into shallow waters where they can become disoriented and wash ashore, but technology capable of close monitoring has emerged only in about the last decade.

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Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) on Sunday said that the vote on the budget deal in the Senate could be close.

"The struggle is still on in the United States Senate. We'll need about eight Republicans to come our way," he said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "I feel we'll have a good, strong showing from the Democratic side. But we need bipartisan support to pass it."

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Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), who successfully negotiated a small budget agreement, on Sunday expressed optimism about Congress pushing forward on tax reform.

"I'm hopeful that as a Ways and Means member as well, that we can start moving tax reform legislation," Ryan said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

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Sen. John McCain traveled to Ukraine over the weekend to express his support for the revolution there and on Sunday the senator called for peace in the country.

"Hopefully what we're trying to do is bring about peaceful transition here that would stop the violence, would give the Ukranian people what they unfortunately have not, with different revolutions that have taken place, a real legitimate society," he said on CNN's "State of the Union." "This is a grassroots revolution here. It's been peaceful except for when the government tried to crack down on them, and the government hasn't done that since."

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Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday compared North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to deceased Iraqi dictator Saddan Hussein when discussing the execution of Kim Jong Un's uncle.

"I mean it really reminded me of -- of a video that we saw of Saddam Hussein doing the same thing, having people plucked out of an audience and people sitting there sweating and nobody daring to move or do anything," Kerry said on ABC's "This Week," according to a early transcript. "This is the nature of this ruthless, horrendous dictatorship and of his insecurities."

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