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Break over, Congress faces fights over Medicare, Iran, AG nomination

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Racing the calendar, Senate leaders are pushing toward congressional approval of a bipartisan compromise that reshapes how Medicare pays physicians as lawmakers return from a spring break tangled up in domestic and foreign policy disputes. Republican and Democratic senators are trying to influence an emerging nuclear deal with Iran, and there’s a fight over abortion. Also, President Barack Obama is awaiting Senate action on his long-delayed nomination of federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch to become attorney general. For Senate Democrats, the…

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Marco Rubio floats trial balloon on tax reform at donor meeting

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In a conservative donors preview last weekend, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio unveiled a tax reform plan he intends to introduce soon with Utah Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Lee. The Florida senator, who has indicated he will likely run for president rather than  for re-election to the U.S. Senate, told attendees at the Club for Growth meeting his agenda: to pass an alternative to Obamacare, close the Export-Import Bank and eliminate the U.S. Department of Education. According to POLITICO’s James Hohmann,…

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Calling for cooperation, Barack Obama engages in confrontation

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Amid appeals for bipartisanship, President Barack Obama in just three days has provoked Republicans on issues as disparate as immigration, Wall Street and the Keystone XL pipeline — a combative mix of defense and offense that underscores Washington’s political realignment. Sensing a Republican retreat, Obama was headlining a Miami town hall on Wednesday, enlisting his Latino base of support to increase pressure on GOP lawmakers who want to tie spending on the Homeland Security Department to repeal of his immigration…

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