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Obama 1225.jpgPresident Barack Obama speaks during an event to thank service members and their families at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama moves to protect his legacy with an ACA strategy session, plus monuments and rules

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Obama moves to protect his legacy with an ACA strategy session, plus monuments and rules

WATCH| Obama is making a lot of moves as his time in office winds down. 

President Obama will trek up Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill next Wednesday and huddle with congressional Democrats to formulate a plan to protect the Affordable Care Act, sources with direct knowledge of the meeting told Circa.

Republicans are expected to quickly follow through on campaign promises to repeal and replace the health insurance plan.

The rare meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. in the Congressional Visitors Center auditorium, Politico reports.  

Obama's legacy

The meeting is the latest in a string of last-minute initiatives from the White House intended to help preserve the outgoing president's legacy. 

With three weeks left in the Oval Office, Obama is proving to be no lame duck. Here are a few other major initiatives the president has taken in recent weeks, ahead of a Republican takeover of the White House:

Sanctioning Russia again

On Wednesday, the White House unveiled a list of new sanctions against Russian entities and individuals believed to be behind a series of cyber attacks intended to influence the 2016 election. 

President Obama had already imposed sanctions on Russia following the annexation of Crimea in 2014. 

President-elect Trump  has been skeptical of Russia's role in the hacking, and could lift the sanctions once he takes office. 

National monuments

On Wednesday, President Obama designated two new national monuments protecting 1.35 million acres of federal land surrounding the Bears Ears Buttes in southeastern Utah, and about 300,000 acres around Gold Butte in the Nevada desert northeast of Las Vegas.

The new monuments designate protected federal lands that encompass some Native American sites of spiritual or historical significance, wildlife habitats and some hiking and hunting terrain. 

Ban on arctic drilling 

In another push to protect the environment, Obama also withdrew hundreds of millions of acres of federal land in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans from offshore oil and gas drilling. 

On the same day, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a similar move to shield large areas of Canada's arctic waters from oil drilling. 

It's unclear whether or not the Trump administration will be able to overturn these designations. 

Federal Pardons 

Earlier this month, Obama pardoned 78 people and shortened the sentences of another 153 convicted federal offenders, the highest number of clemencies granted by any president in a single day. 

The December commutations brought the total number to 1,176 individuals, including 335 who were serving life sentences, according to the White House. 

Protecting Planned Parenthood 

Earlier this month, the Obama administration also issued a new rule barring states from denying federal family-planning funds for Planned Parenthood clinics. 

Trump has said he intends to repeal many of Obama's federal regulations, but overturning the Planned Parenthood rule could be tricky -- it would require a new rule-making process, or a joint resolution of disapproval by the House and Senate, with Trump's signature.

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