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Arnie Seipel

When Labor Secretary Alex Acosta steps down on July 19, his deputy Patrick Pizzella will step in as acting head of the department.

The acting secretary will have some company.

The Defense Department is currently led by acting Secretary Mark Esper, who is expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Special counsel Robert Mueller made his first — and as he promised, only — public remarks about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the possible obstruction of that investigation.

Mueller announced his resignation from the Department of Justice and the formal closure of his office and said that he has chosen not to testify before Congress. Mueller summarized his office's findings about Russian interference in the 2016 election and addressed why he did not reach a determination as to whether President Trump committed a crime.

Updated at 11:17 p.m. ET

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen is leaving her post, President Trump announced Sunday as he continues to focus on restricting border crossings amid a recent surge. Nielsen had recently warned a congressional panel of a "catastrophe" on the southern border after the number of crossings hit a 10-year high.

Updated at 9:20 p.m. ET

President Trump's former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, is set to appear on Capitol Hill next week to give highly anticipated testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The hearing was originally scheduled for earlier in the month but was delayed after Cohen cited "threats" from the president and attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Updated at 7:18 a.m. ET

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown took a step towards a 2020 presidential campaign, announcing a tour of states holding early presidential primaries next year.

Seeking to counter President Trump's appeal to white, working-class voters that helped him flip Ohio and other key midwestern states, Brown is launching a "Dignity of Work" tour through Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

The partial government shutdown is now the longest in history, as Saturday marks Day 22. The previous record was 21 days, set in the winter of 1995-96 when President Bill Clinton and House Speaker Newt Gingrich were at odds over budget cuts.

The House of Representatives will vote on a funding bill to end the partial government shutdown on Thursday, the first day of the new Congress when Democrats will take control of the chamber and are expected to elect Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as speaker.

A raw, emotional scene played out on Capitol Hill on Friday morning, minutes after Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, one of a handful of Republicans expected to decide the fate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, announced he would vote in favor of confirmation.

Two women confronted the Republican lawmaker as he boarded an elevator, telling him they are survivors of rape and sexual assault. Their identities were not immediately available to NPR.

Updated at 7:50 a.m. ET

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with the American public, are hearing, for the first time, on Thursday directly from Christine Blasey Ford, the university professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were both teenagers in high school.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions' future was cast further into doubt on Wednesday after President Trump made clear how broad his displeasure is with the man he tapped to lead the Department of Justice.

"I don't have an attorney general," Trump told Hill.TV in an interview on Tuesday.

The Republican National Convention in 2020 will be held in Charlotte, N.C., the party announced on Friday. The city was the only known contender to formally bid for the convention, and it is the city that hosted Democrats' convention in 2012 when President Barack Obama was renominated.

"We look forward to seeing the Queen City take center stage as the Republican Party renominates President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence," Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.

Updated at 10:10 p.m. ET

A day after the Republican members of the House intelligence committee released their findings from the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, which cleared President Trump's campaign of collusion, Democrats from the committee said today it was "premature" for the majority GOP members to conclude the probe, and that they would keep investigating.

Updated at 9:30 a.m. ET

President Trump is facing calls to act in the wake of the latest mass shooting, which killed 17 people Wednesday at a high school in Florida, and the White House is not ignoring them. The president will participate in a pair of listening sessions on school safety this week, and on Monday morning the White House said he supports efforts to improve the federal background check system, something Congress has expressed broad support for without acting on after past shootings.

While a lot of furious negotiation has been going on behind the scenes on Capitol Hill to end a partial government shutdown, to voters and cable news viewers it may look like most of the work in Washington is going into pointing fingers.

As the countdown to shutdown hit zero, an official White House statement called Democrats "obstructionist losers."

Democrats pointed to President Trump's inconsistent statements on immigration to say he's an unreliable negotiating partner.

Updated on Dec. 22 on 12:02 p.m. ET

Congressional Republicans delivered on their first major legislative accomplishment of the Trump era on Wednesday, when the House voted 224-201 to pass a $1.5 trillion tax package. The bill cuts individual rates for eight years and slashes the top corporate tax rate to 21 percent permanently.

Updated at 7:29 p.m. ET

In making his "closing argument" for tax legislation expected to get a vote in Congress next week, President Trump announced that the changes would take effect early next year.

Updated at 6:17 p.m. ET

Congress has voted to avert a partial government shutdown that could have come Friday night.

Updated Dec. 2 at 11:57 a.m. ET

The Senate narrowly approved a $1.4 trillion tax overhaul early Saturday morning following a day of procedural delays and frustration.

The legislation, which would cut the top corporate tax rate to 20 percent and lower taxes for most individuals, narrowly passed in a vote of 51-49. Tennessee Republican Bob Corker was the only Republican to vote against the legislation, joining every Democrat and both independents in opposing the sweeping overhaul of the nation's tax laws.

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

Senate Republicans continued maneuvering to pass their overhaul of the nation's tax code on Friday, possibly working around concerns by stern deficit hawks after an official estimate on Thursday said that the economic growth spurred by the plan would still leave a $1 trillion hole in the deficit.

Senate Republicans have begun debate on their bill to overhaul the nation's tax code. Many GOP members sound hopeful about passing their tax bill, possibly in a matter of hours. But they aren't there yet. To pass, 50 of the 52 GOP senators need to support the legislation. As the bill is debated on the Senate floor Thursday, several amendments are expected to try and get their support.

Here's what to watch for:

ANWR Drilling

Updated at 4:12 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is putting North Korea back on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism. President Trump says the move "supports our maximum pressure campaign to isolate this murderous regime."

President Trump told reporters on Monday that the Treasury Department will officially announce additional sanctions and penalties on the North Korean regime on Tuesday.

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

The National Rifle Association says it is open to new regulations on bump stocks, devices possessed by the mass shooter in Las Vegas that can be used to fire rifles similarly to automatic weapons. This comes as top Republicans in Congress appear open to the idea of a federal law banning the devices.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

Republicans are facing even more uncertainty when it comes to finding the votes to pass a bill to repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act, as familiar voices in divergent wings of the party show just how difficult it is for the GOP to unite on the issue of health care.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

A leading Republican senator told reporters on Thursday that President Trump "has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful."

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker was at the Rotary Club of Chattanooga and spoke to local reporters there. In video posted by Chloe Morrison of Nooga.com, Corker added, "And we need for him to be successful. Our nation needs for him to be successful."

Updated 3:30 p.m. ET

With their health care bill facing a perilous path, Senate Republican leaders have decided to push off a vote until after Congress returns from next week's July Fourth recess, GOP aides confirm to NPR's Susan Davis.

Updated at 6:37 p.m. ET

Less than a month after President Trump hired an outside lawyer to deal with inquiries related to the Russia investigations, Vice President Pence has followed suit.

Pence's office confirms he has hired Richard Cullen, who served as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia during the term of George H.W. Bush and later worked on George W. Bush's legal team during the 2000 Florida recount.

Updated at 7:28 p.m. ET

Former FBI director James Comey may have done more damage to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday than even President Trump, whom Comey publicly accused of waving him off part of the Russia investigation.

Comey said he expected Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia investigation weeks before he did because of reasons that are classified. That does not comport with Sessions rationale when he announced his recusal in early March.

Television viewers were confused and concerned when Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., took his turn to question former FBI Director James Comey Thursday — and McCain has now responded.

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