NEWS ROUNDUP: GOP Backs Away From Plan To Gut Ethics Office…AND MORE

House Republicans’ quest to change the rules of the Office of Congressional Ethics came to a halt on Tuesday. GOP members were flooded with negative backlash from the public, ethics watchdog groups, and President-elect Donald Trump. “I can tell you the calls we’ve gotten in my district office and here in Washington surprised me, meaning the numbers of calls. People are just sick and tired,” said North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter B. Jones. “People are just losing confidence in the lack of ethics and honesty in Washington.” A divide between GOP leaders was also a major factor in the House Republicans’ decision to rescind their plans to gut the ethics office. After meeting on Tuesday afternoon, GOP members collectively agreed not to move forward with their proposed changes prior to new Congress members being sworn in. Read more.

President Obama Will Fight To Save Affordable Care Act

On Wednesday, President Obama will meet with Democrats on Capitol Hill in an effort to save the future of Obamacare. He will reportedly discuss strategies to preserve the Affordable Care Act despite opposition from Republicans. “The president’s message to them is that they should be out there telling the stories of their constituents who are benefiting from this law,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement. “I think that’s certainly the most important thing they can do.” GOP members of the Senate took a step towards repealing the act on Tuesday when they unveiled a budget resolution that would give Republicans the authority to eliminate elements of Obamacare with a majority vote. Although Republicans are pressed to repeal Obamacare, they have yet to agree on a plan that could serve as a replacement. Over 20 million Americans are insured under the Affordable Care Act. Read more.

The Obamas To Host Farewell Party At The White House On Friday

As Inauguration Day looms, President Obama is gearing up to make his goodbyes. Earlier this week, he announced he will deliver his farewell address in Chicago on January 10. According to reports, he and First Lady Michelle Obama will also host a goodbye party at the White House on Friday. During an interview last month, the Obamas revealed they will host a “grown up” celebration before they leave the White House. Although minimal details have been revealed about the event, the party is reportedly being hosted for friends of the family and major donors. Among those on the guest list include Usher, Samuel L. Jackson, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Stevie Wonder, George Lucas, Oprah Winfrey, and Gayle King. Read more.

Tavis Smiley’s Books To Be Adapted For Television And Stage

Talk show host and author Tavis Smiley is looking to expand his imprint in the realm of television. According to reports, three of his books, which chronicle the lives of legendary figures Michael Jackson, Maya Angelou, and Martin Luther King Jr., will be adapted as scripted pieces. Smiley has joined forces with director J.J. Abrams to produce television series centered on the books Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days and Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year. Smiley is also reportedly collaborating with director Kenny Leon to create a stage adaptation of the novel My Journey With Maya, which focuses on his friendship with the late poet Maya Angelou. There is no word on when the projects will be released. Read more.

Beyoncé And Kendrick Lamar To Headline 2017 Coachella Festival

Songstress Beyoncé and rapper Kendrick Lamar will headline the 2017 Coachella Arts & Music Festival. The music festival confirmed the rumors of their appearances when it released its official lineup on Tuesday. Other artists slated to take the stage at Coachella include DJ Khaled, Tory Lanez, Schoolboy Q and Future. The Coachella Festival will take place on April 14 through April 16 and April 21 through April 23 in Indio, California. Read more.


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