Repealing Obamacare will be the first order of business in the U.S. Senate in January, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, said on Tuesday. Republicans will replace President Barack Obama's signature health insurance program that provides coverage to millions of Americans "step by step," said Senator John Thune, another member of the Republican leadership. McConnell did not say when the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, as it is officially known, would go into effect.
Oil prices on Tuesday ended lower for the first time since OPEC agreed on Nov. 30 to cut output, as data showing record high production in the producer group fed skepticism that it would be able to reduce supplies. Brent futures slid $1.01 to settle at $53.93 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 86 cents to $50.93 per barrel. Crude had surged more than 15 percent in the four sessions since the Nov. 30 OPEC meeting.