Rep. Trey Gowdy (C), R-SC, speaks as he and a group of freshmen Republican congressmen hold a news conference on the debt ceiling July 19 in front of the White House.
There's one thing that freshman Republicans and the old-guard GOP leadership can agree on — the Class of 2010 fundamentally changed the focus of the debate over taxes and spending.
In a key test of their clout, the group of congressional newcomers largely stuck to their guns through tense negotiations, forcing a first-ever cap on discretionary spending and staving off tax increases.
Members of Congress have begun fleeing the nation's steamy capital for their summer break, leaving behind a funk of noxious politics and a debt-ceiling deal that averts a government default but inspires almost universal hatred.
They're also dragging along dueling narratives about what the acrimonious past few weeks have meant for the prospects of the Tea Party movement.
In 2007, James Ford Seale was belatedly convicted for his role in the 1964 abduction and killing of two black men in rural Mississippi. Seale died in jail Tuesday, while serving three life sentences. He was 76.
A partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration, prompted by a political dispute, is adding to the country's debt. This month alone, that shutdown will cost the Treasury $1 billion in uncollected airline ticket taxes.
The shutdown is happening because of a labor dispute, a long-standing rivalry and a disagreement over subsidizing small airports. It's not clear when it will all be resolved now that members of Congress are leaving Washington, D.C., for their summer recess.
NPR's Renee Montagne talks to NPR's Brian Naylor about what's behind the standoff.
This video image provided by Senate Television shows the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011, after the Senate has approved an emergency bill to avert a first-ever government default with just hours to spare.
John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Beat since 1999.
Following in uneasy but steady lockstep behind the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives, the Democrat-controlled US Senate voted 74-26 Tuesday to endorse the deal between President Obama and Congressional Republicans that will impose massive cuts in federal programs in return for a temporary hike in the debt ceiling.