News Wrap: Judge rules $175 billion Obamacare subsidy for the poor is unconstitutional

In our news wrap Thursday, a federal judge struck down the Obama administration’s $175 billion spending plan to subsidize health care for low-income Americans, agreeing with Congressional Republicans that the government was spending the money without Congress’ approval. Also, Islamic State suicide bombers struck again in Iraq, killing 17 soldiers in Ramadi and five more civilians in Baghdad.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Good evening. I'm Judy Woodruff.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    And I'm Hari Sreenivasan.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    On the "NewsHour" tonight:

    REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), Speaker of the House: We talked about what it takes to unify, where our differences were and how we can bridge these gaps.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    In a bid for party unity, House Speaker Paul Ryan and other top Republican leaders meet with Donald Trump.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Also ahead this Thursday: Brazil's unpopular President Dilma Rousseff is suspended and could be removed from office, in the wake of economic and political turmoil.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    And we head to Puerto Rico, where the island battles to contain an outbreak of Zika virus.

  • AMARILYS ALVAREZ SANCHEZ, WIC Puerto Rico (through interpreter):

    There is a lack of understanding in sexual relations, and that the virus can be transmitted from the father to the mother. Women will laugh and say they're already pregnant, but they don't realize the need for condoms.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    All that and more on tonight's "PBS NewsHour."

    (BREAK)

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    In the day's other news: A federal judge in Washington struck down federal spending to subsidize health care for low-income Americans. It comes to $175 billion over a decade. House Republicans argued the Obama administration is spending the money without congressional approval, and the judge agreed. The White House plans an appeal.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Islamic State suicide bombers struck again in Iraq today, just a day after killing nearly 100 people in Baghdad. This time, they blew up two truck bombs in the recently liberated city of Ramadi; 17 Iraqi solders were killed.

    Back in Baghdad, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited victims of yesterday's attacks. And two more bombings in the city killed five people today.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    In Syria, a cease-fire expired in Aleppo, and fighting flared north of the city. Government forces battled rebels for control of a district just north of the city. It sits on the supply route to rebel-held portions of Aleppo.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The United States powered up an $800 million missile shield in Romania today, drawing the ire of Russia. The site has been in the works for years to stave off potential ballistic missiles fired toward Europe. U.S. and NATO officials attended today's ceremony at the remote Romanian site.

    Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work insisted the focus is on Iran, and not Moscow.

    ROBERT WORK, Deputy Secretary of Defense: It was never, ever about Russia. We have offered to the Russians to show them the technical specs. We have done everything we can to try to make sure that they understand the capability of the system and why it doesn't pose any type of a threat to their strategic deterrence.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Even so, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official called the shield part of — quote — "the military and political containment of Russia." He said the move will hurt efforts to repair ties with NATO.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Turkey lashed out at the European Union today over letting Turks travel within the E.U. without visas. It's part of an agreement to curb the flow of migrants. But the E.U. says the deal also calls for Turkey to reform its terrorism laws, and not to target journalists and political opponents.

    In Ankara today, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that issue is an internal matter.

  • PRESIDENT RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, Turkey (through interpreter):

    You see the E.U.'s attitude. What is it? The E.U. says we should soften our stance in fight against terrorism and against terror organizations. Since when have you, the E.U., started to govern Turkey?

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Since the migrant deal took effect, the numbers crossing from Turkey have fallen dramatically. Still, the E.U. today allowed five member countries to maintain new border controls for another six months.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The government of Malaysia says two more pieces of debris have been found from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The jetliner disappeared more than two years ago off Western Australia, with 239 people on board. The latest debris was discovered in South Africa and on Rodrigues Island off Mauritius. But they offer no clue as to what happened to the plane.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Back in this country, Senate negotiators have agreed on $1.1 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus. That's less than President Obama wanted, and it's likely to be reduced further in the House. Zika is linked to severe birth defects and has spread across the Americas. But health officials are not predicting widespread outbreaks in the United States.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    U.S. energy companies are going to have to find ways to cut methane emissions by nearly half over the next decade. The Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule today. It says producers have to repair leaks at wellheads and capture gas that escapes during hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The mandate takes effect this summer.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Wall Street had a lackluster day. The Dow Jones industrial average gained nine points to close at 17720. The Nasdaq fell 23 points, and the S&P 500 slipped a fraction.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    And Pope Francis is signaling openness to a greater role for women in the Roman Catholic Church. He agreed today to have a commission study whether to allow female deacons. They'd preside over weddings and funerals, plus other functions.

    But the pope gave no indication that he'd consider admitting women to the priesthood.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": Brazil's president suspended amid corruption charges; new details in the doping charges against Russian athletes; Puerto Rico learns to cope with Zika; Making Sense of grit and what it takes to succeed; and much more.

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