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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Fresh off of insulting the entire state of New Hampshire, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) gave reporters his latest lesson in the dark arts of political trolling by endorsing Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) for next House speaker. Reid told reporters Tuesday that he hoped Ryan was elected to the leadership position and went as far as to say he was a "fan" of the House Ways and Means chairman.

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A GOP effort to repeal part of Obamacare that could get farther than any prior attempt is being opposed by the major conservative group for not going far enough to dismantle the law. Heritage Action for America -- the lobbying arm of the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation -- issued a statement threatening to consider the vote on the House bill, expected Friday, a key vote for conservative members.

In the statement, communications director Dan Holler accused GOP leadership of "putting their members in a terrible position," as the legislation leaves in place some aspects of Obamacare, and argued that by voting in favor of the bill, Republicans are "undermining any serious effort to repeal the law in 2017."

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The moderate wing of the GOP is concerned that if the House cannot coalesce behind Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) or someone like him as speaker, some of the more pragmatic members of the caucus will retire, the National Journal reported Monday.

“De­pend­ing on how this shakes out, you may see some Main Street mem­bers re­tire,” Sarah Cham­ber­lain -- chief op­er­at­ing and fin­an­cial of­ficer for the Republic­an Main Street Part­ner­ship, which supports moderate GOP lawmakers -- told the National Journal. "They’re hop­ing for a Ry­an-type can­did­ate. But if it’s not and it be­comes a huge mess, why be sit­ting here?”

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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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