Last week was a busy one in Washington. President Donald Trump made policy news in more ways than one. Here are three things you should know happened last week in Washington: 

1. Trump plans to scrap "Obamacare" subsidies 

Trump signed an executive order Thursday that would cut off subsidy payments to insurers selling Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," coverage, according to Politico

The subsidies are worth an estimated $7 billion this year help insurance companies reduce out-of-pocket costs for low- and middle-income consumers.

“Based on guidance from the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services has concluded that there is no appropriation for cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies under Obamacare,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. “In light of this analysis, the Government cannot lawfully make the cost-sharing reduction payments. … The bailout of insurance companies through these unlawful payments is yet another example of how the previous administration abused taxpayer dollars and skirted the law to prop up a broken system.”

On Saturday, a health industry coalition sent a letter to congressional leaders, which urged lawmakers to "take action immediately" to revive the payments, according to USA Today, and the change has received pushback in Washington from both Democrats and Republicans. 

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said the decision could lead to higher prices, making people unable to afford health insurance. 

“This whole issue is about people,” Kasich said on Meet the Press on Sunday. “It is not about politics. It is not about numbers. It’s about people.”

2. The U.S. withdraws from UNESCO

The State Department said Thursday that the U.S. will withdraw from the United Nations’ Educational, Science and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, by the end of next year to make a stand on “anti-Israel bias,” according to The Washington Post. 

UNESCO is the cultural organization of the U.N. that is “responsible for coordinating international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication,” according to its website.

Trump has been critical of the U.N. previously, claiming it is "hobbled by bureaucracy and mismanagement, but held out hope for improvement," as reported by NPR's Scott Horsley

“The Department of State notified UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova of the U.S. decision to withdraw from the organization and to seek to establish a permanent observer mission to UNESCO,” a Department of State press release reads. “This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.”

3. Trump disavows nuclear deal 

Trump announced Friday his decision to disavow the Iran nuclear agreement and threatened to leave the deal altogether if it was not amended, according to The New York Times. 

“We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more chaos, the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout,” Trump said at the White House.

The administration says it wants to redefine the relationship the U.S. has with Iran, according to NPR. But some think his strategy is risky and could set off a chain of consequences that could raise the risk of war between the two countries, CNN reports.

However, Trump said Iran has violated the agreement, but “the International Atomic Energy Agency, America's European allies and even his own government say that Tehran is complying with the 2015 deal agreed by former President Barack Obama and major world powers,” CNN reports. 

"We cannot and will not make this certification. We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran's nuclear breakout," Trump said. "I am directing my administration to work closely with Congress and our allies to address the deal's many serious flaws so that the Iranian regime can never threaten the world with nuclear weapons."

@maddiecapron

mc055914@ohio.edu

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