Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, blessing the walnut tree planted in memory of Rep. Louise Slaughter. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Reverend Patrick J. Conroy, the House chaplain since 2011, was abruptly dismissed by Speaker Paul Ryan, the New York Times reports, causing an "uproar...over religion."

The details: Per the Times, some Republicans demanded an explanation for the dismissal, and Democrats called for an investigation, but the move re-ignited "long-simmering tensions between Roman Catholics and evangelical Christians" over who should have the position. Ryan, who is a Roman Catholic, said his decision stemmed from the chaplain's "pastoral care," not politics, or a prayer he gave in November that Ryan took issue with.

The prayer in question: While the House was debating tax reform, Conroy prayed for members to "guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans." Afterwards, per the Times, Ryan told Conroy: "Padre, you just got to stay out of politics."

Ryan's spokeswoman AshLee Strong told the Times that Ryan "made the decision he believes to be in the best interest of the House."

Go deeper

"Anonymous" senior Trump official revealed as ex-DHS chief of staff Miles Taylor

Miles Taylor in a Republican Voters Against Trump ad. Screenshot via YouTube

Former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor on Wednesday publicly claimed to be the author of the anonymous New York Times op-ed that described a "resistance" within the Trump administration working to thwart President Trump's agenda.

Why it matters: Taylor already publicly endorsed Joe Biden in a video funded by Republican Voters Against Trump in August, accusing the president of wanting to "exploit the Department of Homeland Security for his own political purposes and to fuel his own agenda."

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests, Trump's testing czar saysMask mandates help control rise in hospitalizations Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Surge is sinking consumer confidence Testing is a windfall.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. World: Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month Putin mandates face masks.

Parties trade election influence accusations at Big Tech hearing

Photo: Michael Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

A Senate hearing Wednesday with Big Tech CEOs became the backdrop for Democrats and Republicans to swap accusations of inappropriate electioneering.

Why it matters: Once staid tech policy debates are quickly becoming a major focal point of American culture and political wars, as both parties fret about the impact of massive social networks being the new public square.