March 23, 2017 / 12:44 PM / 4 months ago

HIGHLIGHTS-The Trump presidency on March 23 at 7:03 P.M. EDT/2303 GMT

3 Min Read

March 23 (Reuters) - Highlights of the day for U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Thursday:

Healthcare

Trump fails to persuade enough skeptical members of his own Republican Party to begin dismantling Obamacare, forcing the House of Representatives to delay a vote on the healthcare legislation.

Supreme Court

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer pledges to pursue a procedural hurdle to try to block the confirmation of Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, a move that could provoke a nasty partisan fight and change the way the Senate does business.

Surveillance

The Republican head of the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee apologizes for his handling of sensitive allegations about U.S. spy agency surveillance of President Donald Trump's team.

Keystone Pipeline

The State Department will approve on Friday the permit needed to proceed with construction of the Canada-to-United States Keystone XL oil pipeline, a project blocked by former President Barack Obama, according to government sources.

Immigration

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is directing U.S. diplomatic missions to identify "populations warranting increased scrutiny" and to toughen screening for visa applicants in those groups, according to diplomatic cables seen by Reuters.

Nominees

The Senate narrowly confirms Trump's nominee for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, an outspoken bankruptcy lawyer aligned with the Israeli right.

Jay Clayton, the Wall Street attorney chosen by Trump to lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, defends himself against charges that he had multiple conflicts of interest that would cause him to miss too many SEC votes.

Iran

Iran would face tighter U.S. sanctions over ballistic missile launches and other non-nuclear activities under a bill announced by a bipartisan group of senators, echoing a harder line on Tehran espoused by Trump.

Trade, Procurement

The Trump administration is preparing new executive orders to re-examine all 14 U.S. free trade agreements and review government procurement policies to aid American companies, two administration officials say.

Middle East

Two months after stepping down as Obama's ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro sees some good in the initial peace efforts by the new Trump administration, even as he voices grievances against it.

Trump Hotel

The Trump International Hotel in Washington is not in violation of federal conflict-of-interest rules that bar elected officials from taking part in a lease of federal property, the U.S. General Services Administration says. (Compiled by Bill Trott and Jonathan Oatis; Editing by James Dalgleish and Peter Cooney)

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