Jeff Flake

FreedomWorks shot for the Senate this year, and fell far short.

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Now that Republicans in the House have beat back health care reform (or, at least, passed a repeal bill that's destined to wilt in the Senate), it’s on to the next order of business—hacking away at government spending. Plenty of them can't wait. As Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake said on Thursday, “Some of us have been anxious to start cutting for awhile.” No doubt. But the eagerness of some conservatives to cut the budget as quickly and deeply is already creating headaches for the GOP leadership. For starters, Republicans already differ over just how much of the budget to slash this year.

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Hillary Clinton's extemporaneous words have at times caused problems for the Obama administration. But you have to tip your cap to her quick and clever comeback here: Several lawmakers mentioned the months of deliberation, which resulted in what Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) called a policy with "a little something for everybody." "There's an old adage that a camel is a horse designed by committee," Flake said at the House hearing. "In many ways, I think this looks to be a policy designed by committee." "Camels are very sturdy animals," Clinton replied.

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In case you missed it (I certainly did), last week the House passed H.R. 3548, the Plain Language in Government Communications Act. In what sounds like something out of an Onion story, the bill requires that government documents be written in plain English, which it defines as "language that the intended audience can readily understand and use because it is clear, concise, well-organized, and follows other best practices of plain language writing." It's unclear whether the bill will go anywhere in the Senate, or if it would even accomplish anything if it were signed into law.

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