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Alice Ollstein

Alice Ollstein is a reporter at Talking Points Memo, covering national politics. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 and has been reporting in DC ever since, covering the Supreme Court, Congress and national elections for TV, radio, print, and online outlets. Her work has aired on Free Speech Radio News, All Things Considered, Channel News Asia, and Telesur, and her writing has been published by The Atlantic, La Opinión, and The Hill Rag. She was elected in 2016 as an at-large board member of the DC Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Alice grew up in Santa Monica, California and began working for local newspapers in her early teens.

Articles by Alice

As Republicans continue their relentless march to undo former President Barack Obama's regulations—on labor rights, climate change, online privacy and more—the Senate held a contentious vote Thursday to unwind one of his last actions in office: a rule that barred states from discriminating against Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health care providers when distributing federal grants under Title X.

To overcome a 50-50 stalemate on advancing a resolution to roll back the rule, which was implemented in February, Republicans took the rare step of bringing in Vice President Mike Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote.

Senate Democrats blasted the move as "wrong and dangerous," warning that it would encourage states to cut funding to Planned Parenthood in areas where no other women's health clinics exist.

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Tierney Sneed contributed reporting.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) told reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday that she is "torn" about how to vote on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court next week. More than two dozen Democrats are pushing for a filibuster of Gorsuch, setting the Senate up for a nasty showdown next week that may permanently change the chamber's rules.

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In a contentious hearing Wednesday on Capitol Hill, Democratic members of Congress tried to pin down Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price on whether he will try to gut the Affordable Care Act. Coming less than a week after the GOP's seven-year quest to repeal the law came to a crashing halt, the Price hearing offered an early window into whether the Trump administration will try to undermine the law administratively after failing to unwind it legislatively.

Democratic lawmakers asked Price again and again whether he will simply "follow the policies" of Obamacare, as he promised in his confirmation hearing, or if he will use the powers of his office to take apart the law. Price, dodging many of the questions aimed his way, gave few assurances he will administer all of Obamacare's regulations and programs going forward.

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The Trump administration announced this week that it will make good on its January threat to claw back funding from so-called sanctuary cities that limit information-sharing with federal immigration officials. Yet hundreds of legal experts say the move would itself be illegal—in part due to a court ruling Republicans cheered just a few years ago.

In 2012, the Supreme Court forced the Obama administration to make Medicaid expansion voluntary for states instead of mandatory, ruling that when the federal government “threatens to terminate other significant independent grants as a means of pressuring the States to accept” a federal policy, it is unconstitutionally coercive.

Conservative groups that celebrated this victory over "infringement on state sovereignty by the federal government" may now be dismayed to learn that it could throw a wrench into the Trump administration's current plan to punish sanctuary cities.

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The claims by House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) that he has secret source with whom he met at the White House complex last week continue to confuse and frustrate his fellow lawmakers in both parties and both chambers of Congress.

On Tuesday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said that while calls for Nunes' recusal from the ongoing investigation is "a decision the House should make," he told reporters: "We should know the sources and we should know the information."

Asked who "we" refers to, McCain answered: "The entire nation."

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The top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee is accusing Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin of violating federal ethics law by publicly promoting the film LEGO Batman, which his own company produced.

In a live interview with the news site Axios on Friday, Mnuchin was asked by an audience member to recommend a movie, to which he replied: "I am not promoting any product, but you should send all your kids to see LEGO Batman." Mnuchin added that Avatar, another film his company produced, is his "favorite movie."

It is unclear whether Mnuchin has fully divested from his company, Ratpac-Dune Entertainment, or whether he continues to personally profit from films like LEGO Batman.

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The moment the news broke that Republicans were pulling their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act rather than watch it die on the House floor, the blame game commenced.

Though House Speaker Paul Ryan, moderate Republicans, congressional Democrats, and President Donald Trump all had fingers pointed in their direction for the health care bill's failure, no group took more heat than the House Freedom Caucus—the few dozen hardline conservatives who opposed the bill after successfully pushing it farther to the right.

On Monday, Freedom Caucus spokesperson Alyssa Farah fired back on Twitter at the group's critics, arguing that the bill was so bad that blocking its passage was a gift to Congress and President Trump—who would have suffered politically in future elections had it passed.

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