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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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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Anonymous GOP sources are telling Politico that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is looking to move a bill that would lift the debt ceiling before he steps down. According to the Politico report, published Wednesday, Boehner is still trying to negotiate a deal with the White House that would include the debt ceiling raise within a larger budget package. However, Politico's sources say, if those talks fall through, GOP leadership is willing to put forth a standalone debt ceiling bill -- a so-called "clean" bill -- before a new speaker takes over Boehner's gavel.

Boehner's office did not comment on the Politico report.

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The Democratic senator who led the charge to "nuke" a portion of the filibuster in 2013 expressed cautious optimism at the news that Republicans were now taking their own look at tinkering with Senate procedural rules, now that they are in the majority.

In a statement to TPM, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said he was "pleased that the Senate leadership is taking seriously the need to modernize the Senate’s rules to restore the Senate's ability to debate and deliberate."

"As I said on the floor recently, with the control of the Presidency and the Senate after 2016 up in the air, now is the perfect time to talk about what rules will make the Senate work better for both the majority and the minority. I look forward to continuing that dialogue," the statement continued.

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While the first Democratic debate was, in theory, intended to create contrast among the party’s candidates, frontrunner Hillary Clinton wanted viewers to walk away with another message: Republicans are the real enemy and she is the one to take them on.

Time and time again on the Las Vegas stage, the former secretary of state pivoted from the nuanced differences between her and her Democratic foes to slam the GOP for being far behind where she and progressives want to lead the country.

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Confronted again during Tuesday's Democratic debate about her vote authorizing the Iraq War, 2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton shot back at criticisms that her foreign policy judgment couldn't be trusted by pointing out that she was ultimately chosen by President Obama to be secretary of state.

"Well, I recall very well being on a debate stage, I think, about 25 times with then-Sen. Obama debating this very issue. After the election he asked me to become Secretary of State," Clinton said. "He valued my judgment and I spent a lot of time with him in the Situation Room going over some very difficult issues."

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Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has brought on the wrath of New Hampshire Republicans and Democrats alike by suggesting that the Granite State, along with Iowa, does not deserve its early primary state status considering its lack of diversity.

And he doesn't care if those remarks have early staters in a tizzy.

Unlike so many politicians who pander to New Hampshire and Iowa, Reid -- who is not running for reelection to his Senate seat -- dug in and did not yield on his comments.

Reid "apologized" Tuesday afternoon, telling reporters in Las Vegas, "New Hampshire is heavily populated and loaded with a lot of minorities, my apologies."

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