Thursday May 4, 2017 5 Top Stories to Start Your Day

Thursday May 4, 2017 5 Top Stories to Start Your Day

1. Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House and President Obama, it appears, have the necessary votes to change or repeal the Affordable Care Act, a campaign promise that Trump has, so far, not been able to reach. The new plan will be up for a vote Thursday before Congress. When and if it passes, it will move to the Senate. The one stumbling block had been making sure that those with pre-existing conditions will be able to find insurance. The bill has been changed to include $8 billion dollars which will cover the cost for people with pre-existing illnesses. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called it “a very sad, deadly joke. What you would need is probably about $200 billion over 10 years. What they’ve done is $8 billion over five years,” she said at a press conference outside her office in the Capitol. “If you divide that by the number of people who have a pre-existing medical condition, you get about [$200 or $300] a year.” Meanwhile, Republican leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly said that even if the House passes the healthcare bill, the Senate would work on one, but that it would be difficult.

2. Thursday, President Trump is expected to sign an executive order that will relax laws surrounding the use of church funds for political causes. The IRS rule that says religious organizations and other non-profits that endorse political candidates risk losing their tax-exempt status would be changed to allow the endorsement of candidates and to allow the churches to campaign for legislation. The legislature would allow religious organizations to opt of paying for insurance or the actual cost of birth control. In other words, a woman who works for a non-profit church would no longer have insurance to pay for birth control prescription even though, women across the globe use the medication for other reasons such as hormone treatment and regulation of their menstrual cycles.

3. In France, the two Presidential candidates, the far right’s Marine Le Pen and the independent centrist Emmanuel Macron, debated on national television for over 2 hours on a range of subjects. Macron slammed Le Pen as holding bigoted views and that her policies would lead to “civil war.” Le Pen attacked Macron of being soft on terrorism and said he would cause Germany to be the true leader of France due to the power in the European Union. Le pen still stoking fears of the presence of Germany will overwhelm France as a country, Le Pen then stated that “France will be led by a woman either me or Mrs Merkel.”

4. Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey was sworn in and testify about the work the FBI did in regards to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email, the investigation into Russian- Trump ties and homeland security. The largest part of this testimony keyed on why he reopened the case of Democratic nominee for President Hillary Clinton less than 10 days before the election by notifying Congress by letter which was publicly written. The question was whether the FBI Director played politics by sharing the investigation in Clinton but did not share the news that members of the Trump campaign were under investigation for ties to Russia since July of 2016. Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) stated at the close of the public hearing that the FBI was wrong to release the information about Hillary Clinton’s investigation a few days ahead of the election stating that, “I would have been satisfied if he had done what all Republican and Democratic administrations have done in the past.” Leahy continued to say that, “The Justice Department has a procedure. You do not release information like that just before an election.” Comey stood firm on his decision that the move to release the information was not political but was made to show that the FBI was not concealing information.

5. Thursday, Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh is retiring from royal duties this autumn. The 95-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth, “will no longer play an active role by attending engagements”, Buckingham Palace said. In the statement, the spokesman said the duke “may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time”.

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