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Ailsa Chang

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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.

Update at 8:40 p.m. ET: Senate passed legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal the Affordable Care Act, with a 52-47 vote.

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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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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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House Republicans finally have the leader many say they want. He says they just have to prove they really want him.

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A politician's life may include moments of freefall.

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Happy no-shutdown day. This last day before the deadline, Congress managed to pass a measure that will keep the government open for the next two-and-a-half months. Fears of a shutdown subsided after House Speaker John Boehner said he'd be leaving at the end of next month. NPR's Ailsa Chang has been looking into what Boehner might be able to cram into the next four weeks before he's out the door.

AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: So there won't be a government shutdown tonight, but Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois tells Republicans this is no achievement.

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A measure rejecting the nuclear deal with Iran has been defeated, at least for now. Senate Democrats blocked the GOP resolution from passing this afternoon. In the House, Republicans will be expressing their opposition to the nuclear deal in a different way. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports on two chambers that are now totally out of sync.

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