Republicans set stage for crucial tax overhaul votes
WASHINGTON (AP) — A sweeping tax overhaul has cleared a procedural hurdle in the House. Lawmakers voted on Wednesday to approve the rule that sets the stage for a vote on passing the measure. That vote is expected Thursday. In the Senate, meanwhile, Republicans are pushing a broad tax cut for businesses and many individuals through the Senate Finance Committee. The measure has been complicated by a late addition — repeal of the Obama health care law’s requirement that Americans get insurance coverage.
‘Obamacare ’ mandate repeal would remake market for consumers
WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions are expected to forgo coverage if Congress repeals the unpopular requirement that Americans get health insurance, gambling that they won’t get sick and boosting premiums for others. The drive by the Senate GOP to undo the “Obamacare ” coverage requirement fits with the Trump administration’s effort to write new regulations allowing for plans with limited benefits and lower premiums. Put the two together and the marketplace for people buying their own insurance may look very different.
Arctic refuge drilling closer as Senate panel backs bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — Oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge moved closer Wednesday as a key Senate panel approved a bill to open the remote refuge to energy exploration. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved the drilling measure, 13-10.
California may limit liability of self-driving carmakers
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California regulators are embracing a General Motors recommendation that would help automakers avoid paying for accidents and other trouble caused by self-driving cars, raising concerns that the proposal will put an unfair burden on vehicle owners
Agricultural groups challenge California weed-killer warning
National and Midwestern agricultural groups are suing to overturn a California declaration that the popular weed-killer Roundup can cause cancer. A lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court seeks an injunction barring California from enforcing what the suit describes as a “false” warning that could eventually appear on product labels for the herbicide.
Electric trucks emerging but still have a long haul
DETROIT (AP) — Electric trucks are enjoying a moment in the spotlight, but they won’t replace diesel-powered trucks in big numbers until they overcome costs and other limitations. Tesla Inc. plans to unveil a semi tractor-trailer this week while German automaker Daimler AG showed off its own electric semi last month. Meanwhile, truck rental company Ryder just added 125 all-electric vans made by California startup Chanje to its fleet.
CFPB Director Cordray, who sparred with GOP, plans to resign
NEW YORK (AP) — Richard Cordray will resign as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by the end of the month. The Obama appointee aggressively took on the banking industry. His resignation will give President Trump a chance to appoint his own leader of the powerful agency, someone who could roll back the protections Cordray and his staff put into place in the CFPB’s first years.
Managing overtourism an increasing feature of global travel
LONDON (AP) — Venice is planning to divert massive cruise liners while Barcelona has cracked down on apartment rentals and initiated a holistic approach to managing its status as a tourism city. Both are at the forefront of efforts to get a grip on “overtourism,” a phenomenon that can disrupt the community, imperil the state of cherished buildings and harm the experience of travelers.
AP Exclusive: US scientists try 1st gene editing in the body
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — American scientists for the first time have tried editing a gene inside the body in hope of curing a disease. The experiment was done Monday in California on a 44-year-old man with an inherited metabolic disorder. If it’s successful, it could give a boost to the fledgling field of gene therapy.
US denies Ford, Mazda bids to delay Takata recall decision
DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government has denied requests from Ford and Mazda for more time to test Takata air bag inflators as the companies try to avoid massive recalls. Both automakers petitioned safety regulators to escape recalls involving more than 3 million vehicles with Takata inflators.
US stocks decline for a second straight day; oil falls
NEW YORK (AP) — Technology companies led U.S. stocks lower Wednesday, giving the market its biggest loss since early September. Grocery stores and packaged foods and beverage companies also fell. Energy stocks lost ground as the price of crude oil closed lower a day after its biggest loss since October. Banks and phone companies eked out modest gains. The latest slide extended the market’s losses from a day earlier and added to its pullback in November.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 14.25 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,564.62. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 138.19 points, or 0.6 percent, to 23,271.28. The Nasdaq composite slid 31.66 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,706.21. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 7.16 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,464.09.
Benchmark U.S. crude fell 37 cents, or 0.7 percent, to settle at $55.33 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 34 cents, or 0.5 percent, to close at $61.87 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline gave up 2 cents to $1.74 a gallon. Heating oil was little changed at $1.91 a gallon. Natural gas declined 2 cents to $3.08 per 1,000 cubic feet.