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WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing growing Republican opposition, House Speaker Paul Ryan is insisting that the White House and Congress are working together on a plan to repeal and replace the health care law -- and that the plan will eventually attract unified support. The Wisconsin Republican told reporters today that there "aren't rival plans." But he acknowledged the divisions, saying there will be "churning" in any legislative process. Earlier in the day, three Senate Republicans — Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz — dismissed the emerging House plan as "Obamacare lite" and said they would oppose it.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has a Commerce secretary. Vice President Mike Pence today administered the oath of office to Wilbur Ross, a day after the Senate voted 72-27 to confirm him. Ross has said the administration will work quickly to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. The 79-year-old Ross is worth an estimated $2.9 billion and has extensive business ties around the world. He has promised not to take any action as secretary that would benefit any company in which he has a financial interest.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is creating a multi-agency task force to combat violent crime. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement today in his first major policy speech. He said the task force will include the heads of Justice Department agencies such as the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In prepared remarks for a gathering of state attorneys general, Sessions says he's concerned an uptick in violent crime in some large American cities was the "start of a dangerous new trend."
WASHINGTON (AP) — Photos of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway kneeling on an Oval Office couch with her shoes on have sparked an online debate about decorum in the executive mansion. Conway is seen perched on her knees on the couch with her feet behind her in photos taken yesterday while President Donald Trump met with leaders of historically black colleges and universities. Some Twitter users were quick to highlight the photos as evidence of a lack of respect for the office from Conway and the Trump administration. Other users have countered with numerous photos of former President Barack Obama resting his feet on the office's desk during his time in office.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Scores of volunteers are expected to help in an organized effort to clean up and restore a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia where vandals damaged hundreds of headstones. The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia says the work at Mount Carmel Cemetery will start today and take place each afternoon. Volunteers of all faiths began showing up at the cemetery starting Sunday after news of the vandalism spread. Police have not yet determined who was behind the vandalism or the motive.
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