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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The stage was set for fireworks this weekend during the rare Sunday Senate session that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called to push forward a major transportation funding bill, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) did not disappoint. The underlying must-pass bill, which finances federal construction programs on the nation's roads, has become the focus of proxy battles on everything from Planned Parenthood to the Export-Import Bank. Sunday, however, Senate Republicans lined up behind McConnell to shut down Cruz's attempts to wreak havoc on the legislation.

Here is what happened Sunday:

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Senate GOP leadership is moving toward a vote on a bill that would cease federal funding to Planned Parenthood due to concerns about the reproductive health provider raised by heavily-edited videos recently posted online by an anti-abortion group.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) placed the bill, sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), on the Senate calendar as anti-abortion lawmakers had been accusing leadership of blocking a vote on the issue. No date yet has been scheduled for a vote.

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Senate Republicans will finally take a shot at their great white whale, but their first vote to repeal Obamacare since taking over the Senate majority in January will come as an amendment to a highway bill and be held on a Sunday in late July. It's not exactly the headline-making confrontation with the President over his signature legislation that conservatives have been hankering for.

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Americans view the GOP less favorably now than they did at the beginning of the year, when Republicans took control of both houses of Congress.

A new Pew poll finds that favorability among Americans for Republicans is at 32 percent - which is 9 percentage points less than in January - while 60 percent of the survey-takers said they viewed the GOP unfavorably now. Perceptions of Democrats, meanwhile, have remained split.

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Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) can at least count on Republicans in the state House of Representatives, where they are the minority party, to back him in a pending court battle over an apparently botched veto attempt. But GOP state representatives will have to dig into their pockets to cover the legal costs.

House Republicans are using private funding to file briefs in LePage's favor as the state Supreme Court decides whether the governor correctly vetoed dozens of bills, The Bangor Daily News reported. Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves and Republican Senate President Mike Thibodeau denied House Minority Leader Ken Fredette's request to use public money to underwrite the associated legal costs.

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The phase-out brigade is back! But now instead of George W. Bush wanting to phase out Social Security, it's Jeb Bush wanting to phase out Medicare.

The former Florida governor opined Wednesday on the future of Medicare, a program he said "we need to figure out a way to phase out."

As MSNBC reported, the GOP 2016er was speaking at an Americans for Prosperity event in New Hampshire, where he brought up a TV ad in which a Paul Ryan-look-a-like "was pushing an elderly person off the cliff in a wheelchair." The ad was knocking Ryan's Medicare-related budget proposals.

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A newly-formed politically group seeks to turn top GOP 2016 candidate Donald Trump's famous phrase against him.

A Cleveland-based political action committee branding itself the Let's Fire TRUMP PAC registered with the Federal Election Commission this week, the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported.

Since outside PACs aren't allowed to use candidates' names in their titles, "TRUMP" actually stands for Terrible Radicals Undermining Middle Class People, The Hill noted.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) will no longer be able to charge state taxpayers for travels related to his 2016 campaign if Democratic state legislators have their way.

NJ.com reports that a state senate committee is weighing Thursday legislation that would force Christie to pay back the travel expenses he charged the state for political activities that were "not directly related to the Governor's regular and official duties as Governor."

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It’s been nearly a month since the Supreme Court issued a string of decisions that roiled conservatives’ faith in Chief Justice John Roberts' court. But Republicans are not backing down from their push to drastically alter the judicial branch.

Conservatives had already been looking into ways to undermine the Supreme Court’s authority ahead of its decision to legalize same-sex marriage. But when that decision, along with one upholding a provision in Obamacare, came down in late June, their frustrations reached a fever pitch.

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