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Tuesday, Feb 28th

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House votes to roll back rule to prevent mentally ill from buying guns

House votes to roll back gun restriction for mentally illThe U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to repeal an Obama administration rule aimed at keeping firearms out of the hands of people with severe mental illness on the grounds that it may unfairly infringe on their Constitutional rights.

The House voted along party lines, 235 to 180, to repeal a regulation adopted in December requiring the Social Security Administration to send information about people receiving supplemental payments and insurance to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System if they are mentally ill.

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U.S. House axes rules to prevent corruption, pollution

House axes corruption and polllution rulesTwo major U.S. rules aimed at curbing corruption and pollution in the energy sector may be entirely wiped from the books by next week, after the Republican-led House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to repeal them.

The Senate is expected to take up repealing the rules, both of which were years in the making, as soon as Thursday.

Under the virtually untested Congressional Review Act, the Republican-led Congress can vote to permanently undo newly minted regulations. Agencies cannot revisit overturned regulations and timing in the law means any regulation enacted in the Obama administration's final months are eligible for axing.

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The Latest: Price, Mnuchin votes postponed after Dem boycott

Pice, Mnuchin votes postponedSenate Finance Committee votes to confirm President Donald Trump's picks for health and Treasury secretary are being indefinitely postponed after Democrats boycotted the meeting.

Democratic senators held an abruptly called briefing for reporters outside the hearing room. They said they were demanding more information about the two nominees, GOP Georgia Rep. Tom Price to be Health secretary and financier Steve Mnuchin to head the Treasury Department.

The Democrats cited separate newspaper reports about Price's trading in a health company stock and Mnuchin's behavior involving foreclosures when he was a banker.

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Senate confirms Nikki Haley as UN Ambassador

Senate confirms Nikki HaleySouth Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Senators approved Haley’s nomination 96-4.

President Donald Trump nominated Haley to the position back in November. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee overwhelmingly approved Haley’s nomination earlier on Tuesday.

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Senate confirms Pompeo as CIA chief amid questions over torture, spying views

Mike PompeoThe Senate voted Monday to confirm Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas as CIA director despite critics' concerns that he has offered conflicting statements about whether he would expand government surveillance of Americans and bring back torture as an interrogation technique.

Senators voted 66-32 to approve Pompeo, who is giving up his congressional seat to lead the agency.  His confirmation completes President Trump's national security team. Defense Secretary James Mattis and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly were confirmed Friday.

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HHS nominee's stock buys raise ethical questions: report

Tom PricePresident-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services purchased shares in a medical device manufacturer and then introduced legislation that would benefit the company, according to a CNN report Monday.

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) in March bought between $1,001 and $15,000 worth of shares in Zimmer Biomet. Days later, he introduced the HIP Act to delay a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regulation that industry analysts said would have significantly hurt that company financially, according to CNN.

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Breaking: Total Abortion Ban Debuts in Congress

Steve KingRep. Steve King (R-IA) on Thursday introduced the first federal “heartbeat bill” modeled on a failed Ohio attempt to end legal abortion as early as six weeks into a pregnancy—before many people know they’re pregnant.

“Heartbeat bills” amount to total abortion bans. They have been declared unconstitutional in federal court.

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