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News Wrap: Tillerson urges State Department employees to put aside differences

In our news wrap Thursday, newly sworn-in Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praised the work force at the State Department and said he understands their frustrations with the new administration, but urged employees to set aside any political differences with President Trump. Also, two more Cabinet nominees -- Mick Mulvaney and Scott Pruitt -- advanced to the full Senate for confirmation.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    There's two more Cabinet nominees advanced to the full Senate for confirmation votes. Two Senate committees endorsed South Carolina Congressman Mick Mulvaney to run the White House Office of Management and Budget.

    And the nomination of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency got through the Senate Environment Committee. Democrats boycotted that meeting, so Republicans suspended the rules, and took the vote without them.

    The newly sworn-in secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, urged his employees today to put aside any political differences with President Trump. Hundreds in the State Department have signed what is called a note of dissent against the executive order on immigration and refugees. Tillerson addressed his work force for the first time. He praised them, and said he understands their frustrations.

    REX TILLERSON, U.S. Secretary of State: I know this was a hotly contested election and we do not all feel the same way about the outcome. Each of us is entitled to the expression of our political beliefs. But we cannot let our personal convictions overwhelm our ability to work as one team.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The White House has warned the dissenting State Department diplomats to — quote — "get with the program or get out."

    The secretary of homeland security says he hopes to complete a wall along the Mexico border within two years. John Kelly told FOX News today that he expects that Congress will find the funding relatively quickly, in his words. President Trump has insisted that Mexico will ultimately cover the cost.

    Meanwhile, the department's inspector general says that he will review how the president's immigration order was implemented.

    A snowpack survey in California has found the most snow since 1995, enough that it could put an end to a five-year drought. Today's check in the Sierra Nevada follows major January storms that brought more than a year's worth of rain and snow. The surge in precipitation already lifted the northern half of the state out of drought. The storms also caused heavy flooding and damage in some places.

    Republicans in Congress today ramped up their efforts to roll back Obama-era regulations. The Senate gave final approval to rescinding a regulation against dumping coal mine waste into streams.

    And the House voted to kill background checks for mentally disabled people on Social Security who try to buy guns. That measure now goes to the Senate.

    And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost six points to close below 19885. The Nasdaq fell six, but the S&P 500 added a point.

    Still to come on the NewsHour: unraveling what went wrong in a deadly military raid in Yemen; is President Trump's aggressive approach putting world leaders on edge?; the economic hurdles to replacing Obamacare; and much more.

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