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The Trump presidency on March 23 at 11:48 A.M. EDT

Reuters

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

HEALTHCARE

Trump made a final push on Thursday to get the support needed to begin dismantling Obamacare in the House of Representatives but faces signs that enough Republicans might oppose the bill to jeopardize one of his top legislative priorities.

Uncertainty about the Republican plan to replace Obamacare is forcing some hospitals to delay expansion, cut costs or take on added risk to borrow money for capital investment projects, dealing an economic blow to these facilities and the towns where they are located.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

MIDDLE EAST

Two months after stepping down as former President Barack 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.

ENERGY

The White House says Trump's plan to slash environmental regulations will trigger a new energy boom, but top U.S. oil and gas companies are telling shareholders that regulations have little impact on their business.

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.

(Compiled by Bill Trott; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Leslie Adler)