Wednesday March 22, 2017 5 Top Stories to Start Your Day
1. It is a big week on the Hill for President Trump. Neil Gorsuch is facing his confirmation hearing, the President’s healthcare bill is facing an uncertain vote Thursday, and we learned Monday that the President’s campaign is under federal investigation for possible ties to Russia. As of right now the Republicans do not have the votes to pass the President’s bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with the new Trumpcare plan. The President visited the hill Tuesday urging his fellow GOP members with a stern warning that if they don’t vote for the plan they are endangering their chances at being reelected. Yet, many representatives are holding firm that their elections are tied to their constituents not the President.
2. In his confirmation hearing to be the next Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch answered questions about his past decisions involving his judicial bench and stated that he believes no one is above the law including the President of the United States. In other testimony given, Gorsuch also strongly stated he would not allow politics to dictate his judicial authority. He spoke of his independence from Trump and that derogatory remarks made by Trump on Gorsuch’s fellow judges were “disheartening. I find that demoralizing — because I know the truth.”
3. US Pacific Command is reporting that Tuesday, a North Korean missile fired Wednesday exploded “within seconds of launch.” South Korea’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement that “South Korea and the US are aware of the missile launch and to their knowledge North Korea’s missile was not successfully launched.” The attempted launch comes four days after the North Korea announced it had tested a new rocket engine, describing it as a “great leap forward” in their missile program.
4. In business news, Sears Holding Company announced that it is nearly impossible for the once dominant department store to continue to exist. Sears indicated in its newly filed annual report that “substantial doubt exists related to the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.” Sears has been facing downward sales for years and even with the merger with K-Mart sales have not improved. With the advent of Amazon and other online merchants has been one of the main reasons for the decline of the once great American department store. Even with products such as Craftsman and Kenmore their company continued to downsize and the brands that were once household names dwindled.
5. Although President Trump has asked to slashed the budget for many areas of science but Wednesday he signed a bill authorizing $19.5 billion in funding for NASA which is the first such authorization bill for the space agency in seven years. The goal of the budget increase is to send humans to Mars by the 2030’s, will continue to fund the construction of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion crew capsule for that mission. Scott Pace, director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University stated that “I think it’s really more of a vote for stability.” Trump stated t “It’s been a long time since a bill like this has been signed reaffirming our national commitment to the core mission of NASA, human space exploration, space science and technology,” he said. Later he added, “We support jobs. It’s about jobs.”
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