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News Wrap: House GOP votes again to repeal the ACA

In our news wrap Tuesday, the House of Representatives voted to strike down the Affordable Care Act -- a first for the new Congress but the 56th time that House Republicans that tried to repeal the law. Also, advocacy groups reported that a growing gap between bachelor degrees received by students from wealthier families and those from the lowest income bracket more than doubled since 1970.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    There was major news on the financial front as well. Standard & Poor’s settled federal allegations that it deliberately hyped risky mortgage securities before the 2008 meltdown. The credit rating agency agreed to pay almost $1.4 billion, and admitted it knew many of the investments were likely to collapse. We will detail implications of this deal after the news summary.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Wall Street tops the day’s other news. Energy stocks led the market sharply higher, as oil prices surged back above $53 a barrel. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 305 points, to close well over 17600. The Nasdaq rose 41 on the day and the Standard & Poor’s index added 29.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The president’s health care law was back before the House of Representatives today, and the result was the same. By 239-186, Republicans pushed through a measure to strike the statute from the books.

    The vote on HR-596 represented the 56th time that House Republicans have tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

  • MAN:

    The bill is passed.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Republican Steve King of Iowa said it’s about making clear where everyone stands.

  • REP. STEVE KING, (R)  Iowa:

    Every Republican up until this point has voted to repeal Obamacare. Every member of the House, with the exception of those that were sworn in for the first time for this Congress, has had that chance. Now we give everyone that chance.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Michigan Republican John Moolenaar is one of those newly sworn-in members.

  • REP. JOHN MOOLENAAR, (R) Michigan:

    It’s time to permanently repeal the excessive spending, the economic pain and the continuing uncertainty caused by this law and replace it with patient-centered alternatives with lower premiums that allow individuals to choose the coverage they want.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    But Democrats said the exercise is pointless, since the president has vowed a veto.

  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:

  • REP. NANCY PELOSI, Minority Leader:

    They’re baying at the moon, something that is not going to work. And instead of proposing any, which we would be welcome to hear good suggestions they may have to approve the Affordable Care Act, they’re baying at the moon 56 times.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    At the White House, the president dismissed the House vote as he met with Americans who say they have benefited from the law.

  • PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:

    In every respect, this is working, not just as intended, but better than intended. And so the notion that we would play politics with the lives of folks who are out there working hard every single day trying to make ends meet, trying to look after their families makes absolutely no sense.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The bill goes to the Senate now, but Republicans won’t have the votes it would take to override a veto.

    A group of Republican committee chairmen now say they’re working on their own plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. They expect to release it on Thursday.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    New England bundled up today as frigid cold moved in, on the heels of the latest winter storm. In some places, windchills hit 20-below, prompting flash freeze warnings. In the Boston area, crews braved the cold to move another 18 inches of snow, after more than two feet fell last week.

    Mayor Marty Walsh said, together, the two storms made history.

  • MAYOR MARTY WALSH, Boston:

    We have set a record in the seven-day period here in the city of Boston. We received over 40.1 inches of snow. We have broken the old record and we’re looking at possible another six inches of snow on Thursday. GWEN IFILL: The snow forced the city to put off its Super Bowl victory parade for the New England Patriots until tomorrow.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    New research out today portrays an ever-growing college gap between the haves and have-nots. Two advocacy groups for higher education reported that, in 2013, some 77 percent of students from wealthier families received bachelor degrees. That’s compared to only 9 percent of those from the lowest-income bracket. The difference is more than double what it was in 1970.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Fidel Castro has been seen for the first time in five months. Cuban state media released nearly two dozen new photos today. They show the former president, now 88 years old, meeting with a student leader. The student says it happened January 23, and they discussed everything from Castro’s exercise routines to international politics. The ailing Castro stepped down as president in 2006.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    And Britain moved today to become the first country to allow so-called three-parent babies. The cutting-edge fertility method uses genetic material from three people. It’s designed to prevent inherited diseases caused by defective mitochondria, the energy-producing bodies inside cells.

    Rachel Younger of Independent Television News reports.

  • RACHEL YOUNGER:

    Jessica Newell is just 13 months old, but for her today’s vote comes too late. Science can’t keep her alive, but it might just mean her parents now get to introduce their daughter to a little brother or sister who won’t have to suffer like she has.

  • VICKY HOLLIDAY, Mother of Jessica:

    She struggles with swallowing. She struggles with her muscle tone as well. So, as you can see, she’s very floppy. She can’t really hold her own head up. She doesn’t have the energy to do that. And also, effectively, her brain is dying.

  • RACHEL YOUNGER:

    Scientists in Newcastle haven’t managed to cure mitochondrial disease like Jessica’s, but they have worked out a way to prevent it before an embryo is even formed.

    It involves a healthy egg being taken from a donor. Doctors will then remove the nucleus containing her DNA and replace it with the mother’s, but without the 40 mitochondria genes. The newly repaired egg is then fertilized and implanted into the mother’s womb

    But it’s unchartered territory that has to be approved first by M.P.s in the Commons.

  • FIONA BRUCE, MP, Conservative, Congleton:

    Once we approve this procedure, where will it lead? The answer has to be that we stop here. This answer has to be that we say this is a red line in our country, as in every other country in the world, that we will not cross.

  • FRANK DOBSON, MP, Labour, Holborn and St. Pancras:

    We can’t guarantee that it will work, but the people most involved think that it will work, and all the scientific advisory bodies in this country think that it will work. And we should take note of what they say.

  • RACHEL YOUNGER:

    And in the end, most of them did.

  • MAN:

    The ayes to the right 382, the nos to the left 128.

  • RACHEL YOUNGER:

    It means up in Newcastle the work goes on toward a world first that could change the lives of thousands.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The proposal still needs approval in the House of Lords.

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