CONGRESS

An epic throw-down happened Thursday on Capitol Hill over the role of the federal government. The topic: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency created in the wake of the 2007-08 financial crisis.

On one side was the Trump administration's acting director, Mick Mulvaney, who believes the bureau's powers are excessive and unchecked. On the other was Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who led the creation of the bureau to protect consumers from abuses by everything from big banks to student loan providers to fly-by-night loan sharks.

U.S. Capitol
Dion Hinchcliffe / flickr.com/photos/dionhinchcliffe / Creative Commons

Republican Speaker of the U.S. House Paul Ryan announced Wednesday he would not be running for re-election this year. And Democratic Congressman Richard Neal of Springfield says he's been hearing rumors for the last month about Ryan's planned departure.

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."

Updated at 3:08 p.m. ET

After five hours of testimony before a joint session of two Senate committees on Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg returned to the Capitol for a second straight day of grilling — this time before the House.

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.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will face Congress in two separate hearings this week, as his company grapples with intense scrutiny over privacy and security on the social media site. It will be Zuckerberg's first appearance on Capitol Hill.

On Tuesday afternoon, more than 40 senators will crowd into a hearing room, where members of the Senate judiciary and commerce committees will have four minutes each to question Zuckerberg. A similar scene will play out Wednesday, when he is set to appear before members of House Energy and Commerce Committee.

U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty used her personal email address in a confidential severance agreement with former Chief of Staff Tony Baker.

Connecticut’s Fifth District representative, Elizabeth Esty has announced she will not stand for re-election in November. The decision follows days of intense pressure on Esty, over her handling of a harassment case in 2016 involving her then-chief of staff. 

Connecticut Democratic Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty says she regrets her handling of a sexual harassment case within her own office. 

A new WBUR poll out Wednesday (topline results, crosstabs) finds Elizabeth Warren with over a 30-point lead as she runs for re-election to the U.S. Senate this year.

Fifty-three percent of voters surveyed say they have a favorable view of her.

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