Before you go gentle into that good weekend, make sure you’re up to date on all the latest news! Here are this week’s top five stories you need to know:
The Republican Senate released a new bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, but when this bill was quickly voted down, they had to come up with yet another new plan. Senators John McCain of Arizona, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said they would not be voting for the new and narrowed-down proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act (currently known as the “skinny repeal”) unless reassured by the House that the skinny repeal would not become law as written. Despite reassurances from House Majority Leader Paul Ryan, however, McCain ultimately joined Senators Collins (R-ME) and Murkowski (R-AK) in voting no on the skinny repeal. The defeat of this repeal bill—the first iteration of Obamacare repeal to actually make it to a vote on the Senate floor—seems to herald at least a temporary end to Republican ACA repeal efforts. In other words: at least for right now, Obamacare is here to stay.
Trump announced in a tweet on Wednesday that openly transgender citizens will not be allowed to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. The tweet stated: “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.” The Joint Chiefs of Staff were not informed that this new law would take place, but chairman General Joseph Dunford said that no immediate action will be taken, and all personnel will continue to be treated respectfully.
News broke in Washington when Sean Spicer announced his resignation as White House Press Secretary. Spicer advised Trump against appointing Scaramucci as communications director, but when the President ignored his guidance, Mr. Spicer resigned from his position as press secretary, which he’s held for 6 months. When asked, Sean Spicer told ABC News he was “relieved” about leaving the White House. It was clear that Spicer’s resignation has been in the works for a while now now, but it was the appointment of Scaramucci that confirmed his decision.
6,000 members of the Yazidi Ethnic Minority were kidnapped three years ago by ISIS. Many of the women were abused and raped while held captive by the Islamic State in Iraq. 180 of the kidnapped girls were rescued, and many are now showing major signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. One of the girls in captivity came out with harrowing details of her ordeal, saying she was “raped every day.” Ekhlas was only 14 years old when she was kidnapped alongside thousands of girls, many of whom are still being held by ISIS.
For quite some time now, Trump has been publicly berating his pick for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. Sessions responded by stating that Trump’s tweets were “kind of hurtful” but that he believes Trump is a “strong” leader who will move the country forward in the right direction. The attacks on Mr. Sessions have created a serious problem for the White House, as it’s created an issue with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Allies have warned Trump to “back off” his vendetta against Sessions, thereby heightening already-inflamed tensions between the President and Congress.