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At long last, President Obama and congressional leaders have found something on which they agree.

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When Republicans took over both chambers of Congress in January, party leaders vowed they would prove to the country that Republicans could govern. They promised to stop with the self-made crises, such as government shutdowns, and rack up legislative accomplishments. So in the first year of a GOP-controlled Congress in nearly a decade, how well did Republicans prove they can govern?

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One of the members of the nation's highest court dropped by the NPR Politics Podcast last week for a wide-ranging conversation about the inner workings of the Supreme Court, and Washington, changing global realities and why he loved the musical Hamilton.

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This story is part of NPR's series Journey Home. We're going to the places presidential candidates call home and finding out what those places tell us about how they see the world.

Just days before the election of a new speaker of the House, lame-duck Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made good on one last promise — that he'd try to "clear the barn" for his successor.

In one fell swoop, two thorny issues were crossed off the to-do list: raising the debt ceiling by next Tuesday and coming up with a budget agreement.

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A politician's life may include moments of freefall.

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House Republicans are struggling against the constraints they imposed on themselves in the Iran deal. Lawmakers agreed to vote on the nuclear agreement in a way that makes it very hard to stop.

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The uproar over sting videos alleging Planned Parenthood illegally profits from selling aborted fetal tissue has only just begun on Capitol Hill.

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This story is part of NPR's series Journey Home. We're going to the places presidential candidates call home and finding out what those places tell us about how they see the world.

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On the Senate floor yesterday, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul started talking. He spoke for 10 hours about his opposition to NSA surveillance of Americans' phone records.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Congress is deciding the conditions under which the National Security Agency can monitor your phone records.

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This post was updated at 1 p.m. ET

Senate leaders were all smiles Wednesday after they broke a 24-hour impasse and announced they had reached a deal on how to move forward on a fast-track trade negotiating bill. That legislation would give the president expedited authority to enter into a trade agreement with Pacific Rim countries, otherwise known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

But how senators will vote on this bill depends largely on how they feel about TPP. And there's one problem.

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Freshman Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who has been in office barely two months, penned an open letter to Iranian leaders this week that 47 Republican senators signed. NPR profiles the Harvard-trained lawyer and Iraq War veteran.

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