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House GOP nominates Ryan for speaker

Paul RyanHouse Republicans selected Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan on Wednesday as their nominee for speaker of the House, the first step in ending a month-long saga over the party's leadership after John Boehner's surprise resignation.

Ryan defeated Florida Rep. Daniel Webster in a closed-door election of the House Republican Conference. Ryan received 200 votes, easily earning the support of the majority of the conference. Webster received 43 votes and Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee got one, as did Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).


Senate passes controversial cybersecurity bill Cisa 74 to 21

Senate passes CisaThe US Senate overwhelmingly passed a controversial cybersecurity bill critics say will allow the government to collect sensitive personal data unchecked, over the objections of civil liberties groups and many of the biggest names in the tech sector.

The vote was 74 to 21 in favor. Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders voted against the bill. None of the Republican presidential candidates (except Lindsey Graham, who voted in favor) were present to cast a vote, including Rand Paul, who has made privacy from surveillance a major plank of his campaign platform.


Congress, White House make progress on 2-year budget deal

Capitol BuildingHouse and Senate Republicans will meet in closed sessions Monday evening, as congressional negotiators and the White House near a two-year budget deal that would boost defense and domestic spending by tens of billions of dollars, and lift the debt ceiling until March 2017.

The ambitious accord, which is being negotiated by top House, Senate and White House officials, would boost defense and non-defense spending by $50 billion next year, and $30 billion the year after, split evenly between defense and non-defense programs. Negotiations are fluid, however, and details might change before legislation is filed.


Hillary Clinton's Long-Awaited Benghazi Hearing Begins

Hillary ClintonDemocratic presidential frontrunner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is appearing today before the House Select Committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attack in Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Washington observers and political junkies have been fixated on this testimony for months, waiting in anticipation to see what impact it may have on her campaign.


Democrats release Benghazi testimony of top Clinton aide

Cheryl MillsDemocrats on the House committee investigating the deadly attacks in Benghazi, Libya, have released a full transcript of testimony by a top aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The release comes a day before Clinton is expected to testify.

The 307-page transcript reveals testimony given behind closed doors last month by Cheryl Mills, who was Clinton's chief of staff at the State Department.


Welcome to CR (Continuing Resolution) Hell

CR HellThe deal closed in Washington on Sept. 30 seemed, in the moment, like the end of a drama. Just as the fiscal calendar ran out, Congress voted for a last-minute agreement to keep the government from shutting down. Lawmakers agreed on a temporary funding patch, the president signed it, and America’s attention quickly moved on to the next political showdown.

In official terms, they passed a continuing resolution, and it felt like a crisis averted.

It wasn’t. In the more than 100 federal offices, agencies and departments that actually use the money, the crisis was only beginning.


Gowdy appears to accidentally release CIA source's name

GowdyHouse Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy appears to have accidentally released the name of a CIA source in the midst of a back-and-forth with Democrats about how sensitive the information was and whether its presence in former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email account constituted a security breach.

Gowdy's aides blamed the State Department for the disclosure, and the agency acknowledged Monday a "human error" led to a failure to delete a name from the email in question.


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