5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • House GOP cancels health-care vote, lacking Republican support

  • President Trump blames Democrats for health-care bill failure

  • Manafort to testify before House in Russia investigation

  • Trump issues permit approving Keystone XL pipeline construction

  • Google to shutter Google Talk service

House Republican leadership pulled the American Health Care Act from the lower chamber floor Friday afternoon, backing out on a scheduled vote just moments before it was set to begin. House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a press conference Friday that he had recommended to President Trump that the bill be withdrawn, and Trump agreed. "We just didn't get consensus today," Ryan said. "We came very close." As many as 34 Republicans had said they would oppose the GOP-backed health-care bill ahead of Friday's vote; if the legislation lost more than 22 Republican votes, it would not have passed the lower chamber. Ryan said Friday that the withdrawal means the GOP is "moving on" from the issue of health-care reform, echoing an ultimatum the president issued to House Republicans late Thursday: Pass this bill, or live with ObamaCare.

Source: Politico, Bloomberg

President Trump told reporters Friday afternoon that the defeat of the American Health Care Act was "perhaps the best thing that could have happened." House Republican leadership pulled the GOP-backed health-care bill from the floor just moments before it was set to be put to a vote Friday after it became apparent it lacked the necessary votes. Trump repeatedly stated that ObamaCare is "exploding" and said the real "losers" of the scuttled GOP bill are House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who "own ObamaCare." Trump ultimately blamed "no votes from the Democrats" as the reason for the bill's demise, despite the fact that as many as 34 Republicans had opposed the proposal; with all Democrats opposed, the legislation could not pass if more than 22 Republicans defected.

Source: The Washington Post, ABC News

On Friday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) announced that President Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, offered to be interviewed over ongoing questions about Trump's campaign staff's possible collusion with Russia. Nunes added that FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers are also being asked to return for a private, classified interview before the committee can move forward with its investigation. Ranking member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) lashed out at the decision to make the hearing private, slamming Nunes for an "attempt to choke off public info" and speculating the decision was made at the White House's behest. "It's hard for me to come to any other conclusion about why an agreed-upon hearing would be suddenly canceled," Schiff said.

Source: The Week, Talking Points Memo

The Trump administration issued a presidential permit Friday approving the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. President Trump had earlier signed an executive order to move the project forward, arguing that the pipeline would create thousands of jobs. The $8 billion pipeline has faced fierce protest from environmental activists, who point to its use of Alberta's carbon-laden tar sands as a contributor to climate change. "We cannot let the Trump administration undo the progress that people all over the country have made to ensure we avoid catastrophic climate change," said Greenpeace's Diana Best. Former President Obama blocked the project in 2015, claiming it would contribute to climate change and would not reduce fuel prices for American drivers.

Source: The Associated Press, NPR

On Friday, Google announced it would shutter its beloved Google Talk service at the end of June. All remaining clients using Google Talk — colloquially known as "Gchat" — will be transitioned to the newer communications app, Hangouts, by June 26. Google Talk was created in 2005 as a way for Gmail users to exchange instant messages, but in 2013 the company began prompting users to switch to Hangouts, a more modern and integrated messaging system. Users still communicating over Google Talk will receive prompts to voluntarily switch to Hangouts in the coming weeks, while any remaining holdouts will be automatically transitioned after June 26.

Source: Google
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