House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La., left, joined by Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., holds up a copy of the original Affordable Care Act bill during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, as the GOP leadership talks about its work on the long-awaited Republican plan to repeal and replace "Obamacare." (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.
What to know now:
1. Obamacare vote: After 18 hours of debate, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to abolish the tax penalty that the Affordable Care Act imposes on those who do not have health care insurance. The 4:30 a.m. ET vote went along party lines, 23-16.
2. Ali’s son to meet with Trump: The son of boxing great Muhammad Ali will meet with President Donald Trump on Thursday to talk about the president’s two travel orders. Muhammad Ali Jr. was detained by immigration officials last month at an airport in Florida after the first travel ban went into effect. He, along with his mother, Khalilah Camacho Ali, say they were detained because their names sound Arabic and they are Muslims. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials Ali’s religion had nothing to do with the decision to question him at the airport.
3. Illegal crossings down: Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Wednesday that the number of people who illegally crossed the country’s southern border dropped 40 percent in the first month of President Trump’s administration. According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol the number of illegal crossings fell from 31,578 to 18,762 from January to February.
4. Graham wants wiretap evidence: Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R-S.C.), said Wednesday he will subpoena intelligence agencies for evidence that backs up President Trump’s claims that former President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap on him and his campaign. Graham, along with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, (D-R.I.), sent a joint letter to FBI Director James Comey and the acting deputy attorney general Wednesday. "We request that the Department of Justice provide us copies of any warrant applications and court orders … related to wiretaps of President Trump, the Trump Campaign, or Trump Tower," Graham and Whitehouse wrote.
5. Jackson walks back comments: Actor Samuel L. Jackson said on Wednesday that comments he made about black British actors were being misunderstood, and that he was not trying to insult their talent, but instead he was questioning why they were cast in American films. Jackson, who made the comments on a radio show, said he did not understand why black actors from other countries were given starring roles in American movies. "It was not a slam against them, but it was just a comment about how Hollywood works in an interesting sort of way sometimes," Jackson said. Jackson new film, "Kong: Skull Island,” opens in theaters across the country on Friday.
And one more
The ex-wife of singer Don McLean was granted an order of protection against him by a Maine court on Wednesday. The order, which will last for two years, comes after McLean pleaded guilty last July to a charge of domestic violence against Patrisha McLean. McLean is best known for his songs “American Pie” and “Vincent.”