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Democratic leaders of the California Legislature signaled their intention Wednesday to fight any challenges to state policies by the incoming administration of Donald Trump by hiring as outside legal counsel former Attorney General Eric Holder.

The announcement came in a joint statement issued by California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.

President Obama and Vice President-elect Mike Pence were both on Capitol Hill Wednesday, making competing cases for and against Obama's signature health care law. Republicans have promised to make repeal of the Affordable Care Act their first order of business, once they control both Congress and the White House.

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When Ford dropped plans to build a manufacturing plant in Mexico, President-elect Donald Trump was full of praise. He tweeted, this is just the beginning - much more to follow. Well, that's not being taken as well in Mexico.

Opening punches were thrown in what one top Democrat today called "the first big fight" of the new congressional year — the promise by President-elect Donald Trump and GOP lawmakers to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

President Obama met with Democrats on Capitol Hill while Vice President-elect Mike Pence sat down with Republicans, as each side prepared for the skirmishing in the days and months ahead.

Asked what advice he gave Democrats in the closed-door meeting about the legacy program that bears his name, Obama responded, "Look out for the American people."

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Amid this week's firestorm over Republicans' attempt to weaken the Office of Congressional Ethics (and subsequently, backpedal on that attempt), you may have seen this chart floating around the Internet. It depicts data from Google Trends about Americans' search interest in learning who their congressional representatives are, with a pronounced spike around 9 a.m. Tuesday.

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Republicans in Congress have tried over and over to repeal Obamacare to no avail. Now, they control both houses of Congress, and they've got an ally in the White House. And now the path is much clearer. Here's Donald Trump just before the election.

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President Obama meets with Democrats on Capitol Hill today, looking for ways to preserve his signature health care law in the face of stiff Republican opposition.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has unveiled a proposal to offer free tuition for lower-income New Yorkers attending state-run colleges, an idea embraced by last year's Democratic presidential contenders.

The plan announced Tuesday – called the Excelsior Scholarship – would grant full-rides to students from families earning less than $125,000 a year, as long as they attend one of the state's public two- or four-year colleges.

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Ford Motor Company is scrapping plans to build a new car plant in Mexico. President-elect Donald Trump had repeatedly criticized the car company for moving production there. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

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Let's talk more now about how Republicans are planning to repeal and possibly replace the Affordable Care Act. NPR health policy correspondent Alison Kodjak is here. Hi, Alison.

ALISON KODJAK, BYLINE: Hi, Ari.

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It looks like an almost-full complement of ex-presidents will be watching from the inaugural stand when Donald Trump takes the oath of office Jan. 20 — along with the candidate Trump defeated in the bitter 2016 campaign.

Aides to Hillary and Bill Clinton tell NPR's Tamara Keith that the 2016 Democratic nominee and former president will attend the ceremony in Washington, D.C., later this month.

President George W. Bush's office announced earlier that he and former first lady Laura will also attend. Jimmy Carter had previously announced his intention to be on hand.

Some prominent conservatives have signed on to a letter warning President-elect Donald Trump that he needs to sell off his businesses to address his many conflicts of interest.

"Respectfully, you cannot serve the country as president and also own a world-wide business enterprise, without seriously damaging the presidency," says a letter sent Monday by a bipartisan group of politicians, ethics advocates and academics.

Viridiana Martinez's parents brought her to the U.S. illegally when she was 7. But it wasn't until she was in her 20s, when she took the microphone at a rally in Durham, N.C., that she "came out" as being unauthorized herself. Martinez, now 30, has been on the front lines of the immigrant rights movement in North Carolina ever since.

One in five Americans is religiously unaffiliated. Yet just one of 535 members of the new Congress is.

That's what the latest data from the Pew Research Center show on the opening day of the 115th Congress. The nation's top legislative body remains far more male and white than the rest of the U.S. population as well, but religion is one of the more invisible areas where legislators in Washington simply aren't representative of the people they represent.

After a storm of criticism, including from President-elect Donald Trump, House Republicans have reversed themselves and restored the current rules of the Office of Congressional Ethics.

GOP members met Tuesday afternoon and agreed by unanimous consent to withdraw a change to House rules approved late Monday evening, before the new Congress was sworn in, that would have weakened the ethics office, an independent watchdog first established in 2008 under House Democrats.

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