Politics & Government

Politics, elections, law, military and veteran's affairs

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Mike Pompeo, currently the director of the CIA, testified in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today as President Trump's nominee to be the next secretary of state. Pompeo faced a battery of questions not only on matters of diplomacy but also on whether he is willing to stand up to the president.

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The Ripple Effects Of Ryan's Retirement

Apr 12, 2018

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The Republican Party is dealing with a scramble for leadership at a very critical time.

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A crowd of Vermonters packed into Chris Shaw's living room this spring, not to hear about local politicians, but to meet a Democrat running for a House seat in upstate New York's 21st Congressional District.

People here are part of a national trend among progressive-tilting voters. They appear energized and eager to vote in November's midterm election. Many say they hope to tip the balance of power in Congress away from Republicans, away from the party of President Trump.

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The Republican Party is dealing with a scramble for leadership now, and it's a pretty crucial time for the party. House Speaker Paul Ryan announced yesterday that he is not going to seek re-election, ending a three-year run as the Republican leader.

In Henry IV, Part 2, Shakespeare writes, "Uneasy rests the head that wears the crown."

Speakers of the House do not wear crowns. But if they did, these days their crowns might as well be woven of thorns.

Just ask Paul Ryan, who has announced he will relinquish the speakership by not seeking re-election this fall.

As the Trump administration evaluates potential military operations against Syria, the White House has declined to explain why it believes it has the legal authority to conduct them without authorization from Congress.

But the White House does have a secret seven-page memo that may make the case.

What would happen if an unfriendly nation tried to take down the power grid, or the air traffic control system, or blow up a chemical plant with a cyberattack?

How would government agencies respond to such a threat?

That kind of war-gaming has been playing out this week in a windowless conference room at the Secret Service headquarters in Washington, D.C., in an exercise officials call "Cyber Storm VI."

Fashion designers. Community activists. Parents. Converts. High school students facing down bullies. Podcasters creating their own space to exhale.

The newest generation of American Muslims is a mosaic, one of the most racially and ethnically diverse faith groups in the country. At a time when all religions are struggling to keep youth engaged, Islam is growing in the U.S., according to the Pew Research Center.

Updated at 10:58 a.m. ET Thursday

Officials from the U.S. Census Bureau and Commerce Department, which oversees the census, are expected to be grilled on Capitol Hill next month about the addition of a controversial citizenship question to the 2020 census form. They are set to appear before lawmakers at a public hearing scheduled for May 8, according to a statement from Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen called a 200 percent spike in illegal border crossings in March compared with a year ago "a dangerous story" as she pressed lawmakers Wednesday to provide funding for President Trump's proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Nielsen appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security to push for approval of the Trump administration's $47.5 billion FY 2019 budget request for her department, which includes $18 billion for the border wall.

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And House Speaker Paul Ryan made some news today with this surprise.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PAUL RYAN: This year will be my last one as a member of the House.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan gave Washington a jolt this morning. He announced he would leave Congress at the end of the year.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

As House Republicans poured out of the closed-door meeting where Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told them he won't run for re-election this year, there was a constant theme: Things are on track. All is well. And a sitting speaker's decision to call it quits after less than three years in charge of the House chamber shouldn't be taken — at all — as a sign the GOP is facing an increasingly challenging election cycle.

"I go back to my district and people couldn't be more ecstatic about the things we're doing," Florida Rep. Brian Mast said. "I'm not concerned about it at all."

Last year, from spring to summer, two organizations — the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) — made their case to the Copyright Royalty Board that Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon and Pandora weren't paying songwriters enough when people streamed their compositions, a process that NMPA head David Israelite likened to "war." Those compositions, which are legally discrete from the recordings of those songs, are covered by "mechanical" licenses, a term that's roughly 100 years old and originally referred to the punch-card c

The National Rifle Association has accepted contributions from about 23 Russians, or Americans living in Russia, since 2015, the gun rights group acknowledged to Congress.

The NRA said in a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., unveiled on Wednesday, that the sum it received from those people was just over $2,500 and most of that was "routine payments" for membership dues or magazine subscriptions.

Housing segregation is in everything. But to understand the root of this issue, you have to look at the government-backed policies that created the housing disparities we see today.

Gene Demby explains how these policies came to be, and what effect they've had on schools, health, family wealth and policing.

It is so common that it likely will have happened at least once somewhere in the United States by the time you finish reading this sentence. But it took more than 230 years for it to happen to a senator in office.

On Monday, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., became the first sitting senator to give birth, challenging Senate leaders to face just how ill prepared they may be to accommodate the needs of a new mother.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan says he will not seek re-election in the fall.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Voters in Anchorage, Alaska, narrowly rejected a controversial proposal last week that would have banned transgender people from using bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity. The "bathroom bill," as it was called, mirrored legislation passed in North Carolina in 2016.

Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election and will retire in January.

"You all know I did not seek this job," Ryan said, addressing reporters. "I took it reluctantly. ... I have no regrets."

Ryan, 48, cited wanting to be around his adolescent children more often.

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Yesterday, U.S. senators had a chance to question Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on his company's approach to handling user data. At one point, Senator Dick Durbin asked Zuckerberg outright how much of his private information he'd be willing to share.

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