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High court case threatens independent electoral map drawers

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In a reversal of the usual worries about political influence on electoral map-making, the Supreme Court is being asked to let raw politics play an even bigger role in the drawing of congressional district boundaries. The court hears argument Monday in an appeal by Republican lawmakers in Arizona against the state’s voter-approved independent redistricting commission for creating the districts of U.S. House members. A decision striking down the commission probably would doom a similar system in neighboring California, and could…

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Marco Rubio criticizes FCC net neutrality vote

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio today weighed in on net neutrality, panning the Federal Communications Commission decision to implement rules ensuring Internet service providers handle all legal content equally. In a vote Thursday morning, the FCC elected to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications utility under Title II of the Communications Act, which consider ISPs as public utilities, like phone companies. This means they will be subject to regulations designed to make sure consumers get fair access to services. The Florida Senator…

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GOP claims paper shows fed aides’ preps for health law loss

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A leading House Republican claimed Thursday that he’s been told of a 100-page document showing the Obama administration is preparing contingency plans in case the U.S. Supreme Court invalidates federal subsidies that help millions of Americans afford health care coverage. Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Joseph Pitts provided no details about the paper and did not say whether he has actually seen it. At a hearing of a House health subcommittee that he chairs, Pitts said he had received information about it…

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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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Joe Biden checks off another 2016 early state in New Hampshire

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First, Iowa. Then, South Carolina. Now, New Hampshire. Vice President Joe Biden may have completed his 2016 early voting state trifecta on Wednesday, but there’s still little evidence he’s doing anything else to prepare for a White House bid. “I think there’s some that are wondering if he has any intention, and he really hasn’t said anything about running,” said Steve Shurtleff, the minority leader of the New Hampshire House and a 2008 Biden supporter. Officially in town to receive…

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Preparing for campaign, Hillary Clinton seizes on bipartisanship

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Not yet officially a candidate for president, Hillary Rodham Clinton is already trying to seize the mantle of problem-solver in a nation fed up with dysfunctional government. Republicans are ready to remind Clinton — and voters — of her past warnings of a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” In her first speech in the U.S. this year, Clinton this week offered plenty of hints about her likely campaign messages. Among the themes: raising wages for workers who have yet to benefit from…

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