GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

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.

The old town hall in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

With so many old buildings in New England, it’s not unusual to see old mills or even churches transform into retail space or condominiums. But what about town halls taking on a new purpose?

Attendees of a City Council meeting in Springfield, Mass. stood up and applauded after approval of an order preventing the city from interfering in religious institutions that provide sanctuary to immigrants.
Sean Teehan / NEPR

City councilors in Springfield, Massachusetts, passed an order Monday night that says the city will not interfere with religious institutions that provide sanctuary to immigrants.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker sat next to VP-elect Mike Pence during an RGA meeting in a November 2016 photo tweeted by Pence.
@mike_pence Twitter / State House News Service

Gov. Charlie Baker will skip a big-money GOP fundraiser in Boston on Tuesday where Vice President Mike Pence will be the featured guest at an event expected to raise $500,000 for President Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee.

The Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence, Massachusetts.
Jerrey Roberts / Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com

A Russian woman facing possible deportation has taken sanctuary at the Unitarian Universalist church in Northampton, Massachusetts.

14 States Suing EPA Over Methane Emissions

Apr 6, 2018

New York and several states from New England have filed a lawsuit against the EPA and its administrator, Scott Pruitt, for not doing enough to combat methane pollution.

Fourteen states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Rhode Island, have joined New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s lawsuit against the agency.

Schneiderman says the EPA is violating the Clean Air Act by unreasonably delaying its obligation to control methane pollution from the oil and gas industry.

Special counsel Robert Mueller notified President Trump's lawyers last month that the president is being investigated as part of the Russia probe, but a source familiar with the situation says they were told Trump was not a criminal target at that time.

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