(Reuters) – Highlights of the day for U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration on Thursday:
The Trump-backed Republican plan to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system clears its first hurdle but chances for passage in Congress look uncertain amid opposition by Democrats, conservatives and industry groups.
Trump has launched a charm offensive of the type not seen before in his brief and chaotic tenure, forcefully rallying behind legislation to repeal the Obamacare healthcare law while trying to placate the bill’s opponents.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says he is not convinced carbon dioxide from human activity is the main driver of climate change and wants Congress to weigh in on whether it is a harmful pollutant that should be regulated.
DEFENSE AND SECURITY
Trump’s plan to boost military spending comes amid mounting evidence that potential enemies have new weapons that are able to destroy much of the United States’ expensive fleet of aircraft carriers.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will host a 68-nation meeting in Washington this month to discuss the next moves by the coalition fighting Islamic State militants, a Trump administration official says.
Several states say they will move forward with legal challenges to a revised executive order signed by Trump that temporarily bars the admission of refugees and some travelers from a group of Muslim-majority countries.
The Department of Justice is deploying 50 judges to immigration detention facilities across the United States, according to two sources and a letter seen by Reuters and sent to judges.
Trump meets with community bankers and promises them he will to strip away some Dodd-Frank financial regulations and ensure they can continue giving small businesses access to capital.
Reports that Jon Huntsman will be the next U.S. ambassador to Russia stir anxiety in Moscow, with one politician calling him a hawk and pro-Kremlin media recalling what they said was his worrying history of hostile rhetoric.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approves Trump’s nominee as ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, an outspoken bankruptcy lawyer aligned with the Israeli right.
CNN reports that the U.S. Senate intelligence committee wants Michael Flynn, forced out as Trump’s national security adviser, and other former Trump aides to testify in its investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
A former U.S. spy, newly pardoned by Italy in connection with the CIA kidnap of a terrorism suspect in Milan, credits the Trump administration with saving her from an Italian jail.
(Compiled by Bill Trott and Peter Cooney; Editing by Grant McCool and Sandra Maler)