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Obamacare replacement on the move, border crossings down and more in political news

By Lauren AguirreMarch 9, 2017

Paul Ryan presentation
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., conducts a presentation in the House studio of the American Health Care Act, the GOP's plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, March 9, 2017. Getty Images

AMERICAN HEALTH CARE ACT

Two House committees reviewed and approved the potential Obamacare replacement bill, called the American Health Care Act. The legislation would replace the Obamacare system with tax credits for health insurance and a rollback of the Medicaid expansion. The ban on lifetime insurance limits and protections for pre-existing conditions would stay in place. Under the new bill, adult children would still be able to stay on their parents’ insurance until they turn 26. Republicans are facing some criticism for approving of the bill without an estimation of how much it would actually cost once it is fully implemented. Some critics of the legislation have also stated that millions of Americans would lose their insurance under the new law.


SCOTT PRUITT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Scott Pruitt, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, made waves in stating that the degree of human impact on climate change is "subject to continuing debate." He said that there is divided scientific evidence on how much humans have contributed to global warming through carbon pollution. This statement contradicts reports published previously by the very agency that he runs. Additionally, the general consensus among climate scientists is that human activity has been a contributing factor to global warming and climate change. Even Pruitt’s immediate predecessor of the agency took issue with his statement.


BORDER CROSSINGS DOWN

The number of immigrants caught while crossing the southern border from Mexico into the United States has gone down within President Trump’s first few months in office. The total has dropped 40 percent since Trump signed sweeping orders to enforce immigration laws. About 840 people a day were caught trying to cross or were deemed inadmissible after presenting themselves at a port of entry in February. In January, this number was 1,370 a day, according to figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. However, migration experts say it is too soon to say whether this will be an ongoing trend.


TRUMP HOTEL LAWSUIT

Two owners of a wine bar in Washington, D.C. are suing Trump because they claim the ownership and operation of his new hotel in the city has an unfair and illegal advantage — being president of the United States. The plaintiffs allege in the suit that the President’s continued ownership of the Trump International Hotel is unfair competition and damages their business. Before taking office, Trump resigned from his managing role in his company and business assets, handing the responsibility off to his adult sons. He also pledged to donate all profits from foreign clients to the U.S. Treasury.