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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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This month, Republicans in Congress achieved what they declared to be a major victory: they sent an Obamacare repeal to the president’s desk as test-run for next year, when they say there will be a Republican president in office to sign it.

But there’s just one problem with that plan. The details have been scant as to what the GOP presidential candidates -- who have uniformly railed against the Affordable Care Act -- intend to enact in its place.

After five years of promises to deliver an Obamacare replacement plan -- more than 20 such promises by one count --the GOP Congress still hasn't produced. And the same mix of political perils and policy paralysis that has hamstrung the Republicans on the Hill has left the party's presidential contenders with paltry real health care proposals that are short on details and long on vague assurances. The party that has spent years avoiding grappling with the economic, political, and policy complexities of health care reform seems no closer now that it was when Obamacare first became law.

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Days of campaign back-and-forth over health care came to a head Thursday evening as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) released an outline for his universal, single payer plan hours before Sunday evening's debate and once onstage, Clinton refined her attacks.

"I'm not sure whether we are talking about the plan you just introduced tonight or the plan you introduced nine times in Congress," Clinton chided.

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In a response to Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) release of the outline for his single-payer health plan, Hillary Clinton's campaign accused Sanders of "making" the details up "as he goes along.”

"And after weeks of denying the legitimacy of the questions Hillary Clinton raised about flaws in the health care legislation he’s introduced 9 times over 20 years, he proposed a new plan two hours before the debate," Clinton campaign spokesperson Brian Fallon said in a statement "Hillary Clinton knows what it takes, and has what it takes, to protect the gains of the Affordable Care Act and secure quality, affordable health care for all Americans."

Fallon went on: "When you’re running for President and you’re serious about getting results for the American people, details matter—and Senator Sanders is making them up as he goes along.”

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A state legislator in Arizona is circulating a measure among her colleagues that would call for a constitutional convention to address whether Sen. Ted Cruz is eligible to run for president, The Arizona Republic reported.

The measure being floated by Republican state Rep. Kelly Townsend would have the state legislature request a constitutional convention to determine what the Constitution's "natural born" requirement means. For such a constitutional convention to be convened, two-thirds of the state's legislatures must request it.

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The contracting firm that was hired to take down some Confederate monuments in New Orleans has backed out after facing death threats, as was revealed in the proceedings for a case seeking to halt the monuments' removal.

Rebecca Dietz, a city attorney, said at a hearing Thursday that H&O Investments LLC of Baton Rouge sent a letter to the city backing out after its office received death threats, the owner's wife was threatened over the phone, and it became apparent its contracts with other businesses were at risk, the Associated Press reported.

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An 85-year-old Houston lawyer filed suit Thursday asking a federal court in Texas to rule on whether Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) is eligible to be President. It appears to be the first lawsuit challenging the Canadian-born Cruz's eligibility on the grounds that he does not meet the Constitution's "natural born citizen" requirement. But if Cruz-opponents were looking for the ideal test case to trip up his candidacy, this may not be it.

Newton B. Schwartz, Sr., who is leaning toward supporting Bernie Sanders for president, filed the lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment in the U.S. District Court in Southern District of Texas, as reported by Bloomberg News.

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During Thursday's GOP debate, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) alleged that the Islamic State was exploiting the immigration system and entering the U.S. as "doctors and engineers."

The claim came when he was asked about the estimation that the failed 2013 comprehensive immigration legislation he sponsored would have increased green card holders by another 10 million.

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) flipped Donald Trump's suggestion that Cruz's Canadian birth made him ineligible for president by reminding the audience at Thursday's GOP debate that Trump's mother was born in Scotland and accusing Trump of only bringing up the attack because Cruz was catching up to him in the polls.

"Back in September, my friend Donald said he had his lawyers look at this from every which way and there was no issue there. There was nothing to this birther issue," Cruz said. "Now since September, the Constitution hasn't changed. But the poll numbers have. And I recognize that Donald is dismayed that his poll numbers are falling in Iowa."

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A question posed by Fox Business Networks Neil Cavuto at Thursday's main GOP debate had a curious way of glossing over the fact that the 2008 financial crisis came under President George W. Bush.

Referencing a dip in the stock market to start 2015, Cavuto asked Ohio Gov. John Kaish about how he would manage a financial crisis.

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