Happening Today: GOP Health Care, Hawaii, Obama, Record Heat, Seatbelts for Dogs

What to Know

  • Hawaii became the first state to challenge President Trump's new travel order in court
  • Republicans scored a victory in their push to scrap President Obama's signature health care law
  • Record heat was recorded across the U.S. in February

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House Panel OKs GOP Health Care Bill

House Republicans scored a pre-dawn triumph Thursday in their effort to scuttle former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, but it masked deeper problems as hospitals, doctors and consumer groups mounted intensifying opposition to the GOP health care drive. After nearly 18 hours of debate and over two dozen party-line votes, Republicans pushed legislation through the Ways and Means Committee abolishing the tax penalty Obama's statute imposes on people who don't purchase insurance. The American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and AARP were against the measure. Seven years ago, their backing was instrumental in enacting Obama's health care statute, which President Donald Trump and Republicans are intent on erasing.

Hawaii 1st State to Sue Over New Travel Order

Attorneys for the state filed the lawsuit late Wednesday in federal court in Honolulu. The state had previously sued over Trump's initial travel order, but that lawsuit was put on hold while other cases played out across the country. The lawsuit says the order will harm Hawaii's Muslim population, tourism and foreign students. The state will argue at the March 15 hearing that the judge should impose a temporary restraining order preventing the order from taking effect until the lawsuit has been resolved. Trump's revised order bars new visas for people from the six predominantly Muslim countries and temporarily shuts down the U.S. refugee program.

Obama 'Rolled His Eyes' at Trump Claim

Former President Obama "rolled his eyes" at President Trump's unsubstantiated claims that he wiretapped Trump Tower at the end of the election, a source close to the former president told NBC News. The source said Obama believes the claims "undermine the integrity of the office of the president," but don't undermine his own integrity, because "he didn't do it." Trump tweeted on Saturday that Obama wiretapped phones in Trump Tower as the days of the presidential election waned.

February Nearly Beats U.S. Heat Record

A freakishly balmy February broke more than 11,700 local daily records for warmth in the United States, but it didn't quite beat 1954 for the warmest February on record, climate scientists said. The average temperature last month was 41.2 degrees — 7.3 degrees warmer than normal but three-tenths a degree behind the record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Wednesday. Chicago had no snow. Oklahoma hit 99 degrees. Texas and Louisiana had their hottest February. NOAA said local weather stations broke or tied warm temperature records 11,743 times but set cold records only 418 times. 

Pet Owners Turn to Marijuana

As more states legalize marijuana for humans, more pet owners are giving their furry companions cannabis-based extracts, ointments and edibles marketed to treat everything from arthritis and anxiety to seizures and cancer. "We think it's really lifted her spirits and made her a happier dog," one pet owner said. "It's not that she's changed. She's just back to her good old self."

Maine Considers Seat Belt Law for Dogs

Tail wagging, tongue out, feeling the breeze: for a dog, there may be no greater joy than riding in a car, with its head out of the window. But in Maine, that could soon become a criminal act. A proposed law, called "An Act Concerning the Transporting of Dogs in Passenger Vehicles," would require harnesses or tethers for dogs riding in moving vehicles. Dogs would also not be allowed to sit in the driver's lap, move freely around the car or stick their heads out windows. 

Phil Collins’ Daughter Says She Forgives Him

In her new book "Unfiltered," Lily Collins writes she forgives her father for "not always being there" when she needed and for "not being the dad" she expected. She adds they can't "rewrite the past" and it's not too late for them "to move forward." Phil Collins and Lily Collins' mother, Jill Tavelman, divorced in 1996, when Lily Collins was 7 years old. Lily Collins was nominated for a Golden Globe this year for her role in Warren Beatty's "Rules Don't Apply" and made her debut in a supporting role in the sports film "The Blind Side."

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