Susan Davis

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House Speaker Paul Ryan's office announced late Tuesday a vote on two immigration bills next week to address the legal status of people brought to the U.S. as children.

Specific details of the two bills will be released Wednesday morning. They are aimed at appeasing the ideological wings of the House GOP. One is expected to be a more conservative measure preferred by the House Freedom Caucus, and the other a more moderate one supported by more centrist Republicans.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell surpasses Bob Dole on Tuesday as the longest serving Republican leader in Senate history — and he is showing no indication he's ready to call it quits.

Updated at 12:23 p.m. ET

House Republicans huddled for hours Thursday morning in another attempt to find party unity on an issue that divides the GOP like no other: immigration.

The meeting concluded with little tangible progress toward a final bill, but Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters there was agreement within the House GOP that they would continue to work on a bill that addressed "four pillars" of immigration policy outlined earlier this year by the White House. Ryan said that is "the most optimistic, plausible chance of getting [a bill] into law."

Speaker Paul Ryan disputed President Trump's attacks on the Justice Department and their handling of an ongoing investigation into his 2016 presidential campaign, telling reporters he's seen "no evidence" to back up Trump's claims that his operation was spied on by the federal government.

Ryan said he concurs with House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy's assessment that the FBI acted properly and within the law when it used an informant to meet with Trump campaign operatives in 2016.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Tuesday he is canceling the annual August recess to deal with a legislative backlog he blamed on the chamber's Democratic minority.

"Due to the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats of the president's nominees, and the goal of passing appropriations bills prior to the end of the fiscal year, the August recess has been canceled," McConnell said in a statement that made official a decision that had been anticipated for weeks.

Lawmakers return to Capitol Hill this week to confront an unplanned and unpredictable immigration debate. Republicans and Democrats alike believe the outcome could be a decisive factor for voters in elections this November that will determine control of Congress.

A divided House GOP Conference will hold a closed-door session on Thursday to build a strategy around immigration legislation scheduled for the floor the third week of June — a deal promised to the rank-and-file by reluctant GOP leaders before the Memorial Day break.

On Monday, freshman Rep. Tom Garrett, R-Va., announced he will not seek re-election. On Wednesday, he requested an investigation into his own congressional staff.

"This is (a) SENSITIVE request on behalf of the member who would like to audit several employees," reads an official IT incident receipt that was reviewed by NPR.

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For Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, 2018 could be defined by one word: judges.

More than any other issue or cause in this midterm election year, the Kentucky Republican says he is focusing the chamber's agenda on confirming as many of President Trump's lifetime judicial appointments as possible before the end of the year.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

House GOP leaders promised Republicans Tuesday they will bring up immigration legislation in June, even though that pledge threatens to divide the party and undermine the staying power of House Speaker Paul Ryan.

"What we're trying to do is find where the consensus sweet spot is," Ryan told reporters. "It's a very difficult issue. Immigration is an issue that has a lot of passionate positions, a lot of passionate thoughts, and our members come from various different perspectives."

At a closed-door meeting on Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., urged House Republicans to resist the urge to sign on to a discharge petition to force the House to vote on contentious immigration legislation.

Even 2,000 miles away from Washington, D.C., Sen. John McCain can still make news.

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The final Indiana Senate Republican debate ahead of Tuesday's primary election was not exactly a battle of ideas because, as the moderator noted at the top, there isn't much ideological diversity between the three candidates in the race.

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Updated at 7:29 p.m. ET

An ongoing Capitol drama over the fate of the House chaplain ended as quickly as it had escalated on Thursday, with the Rev. Patrick Conroy rescinding his resignation and Speaker Paul Ryan accepting his decision.

Updated at 4:58 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan fired the House chaplain two weeks ago, sparking a slow-motion series of events that erupted on the floor Friday and now threatens a bitter religious-freedom debate in Congress in the weeks ahead.

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez escaped federal criminal prosecution. But he couldn't escape the judgment of his Senate colleagues.

The bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee unanimously issued a rare rebuke on Thursday, formally admonishing the senator for his conduct over a six-year period with his longtime friend and political ally Dr. Salomon Melgen.

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

Mike Pompeo is on track to become secretary of state after a key Republican senator gave a last-minute endorsement of the CIA director.

The secretary of state-designate's nomination was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Monday night on a party-line vote. The vote was 10 Republicans for Pompeo, nine Democrats against. One Democrat voted present.

Politics isn't always red or blue. Lately, it has been green.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., plans to introduce legislation on Friday to decriminalize marijuana on the federal level, adding a high-profile advocate in the effort to decriminalize, legalize and normalize marijuana use in America.

Schumer's legislation would remove marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under a 1970 law that classifies marijuana as dangerous as heroin for legal and regulatory purposes.

There are about 19,000 staffers working on Capitol Hill for the 535 House and Senate lawmakers who so often see to it that Washington, D.C., doesn't work as well as they do.

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

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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.

As the House prepares to vote this week on a largely symbolic balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution, its own budget watchdog delivered a stark reality check Monday that forecasts the return of $1 trillion-plus annual deficits and a ballooning public debt that will approach $29 trillion by the end of the next decade.

The latest flash point in the nation's gun debate sent millions of Americans marching into the streets over the weekend in cities like Denver to call for stricter gun laws.

"I've never, until this year I haven't contributed a dime in my entire life to anybody's campaign. This year? I've given more money than I ever thought I would do," said David Frieder, a retiree who attended Saturday's gun march in downtown Denver.

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We're going to begin this morning in Austin, Texas.

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