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10 Things in Politics: Biden suffers blow in voting-rights push

·6 min read
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Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com or tweet me at @BrentGriffiths.

Here's what we're talking about:

One thing to watch for: The Supreme Court is beginning the last stretch of its term with numerous key decisions looming. Justices have yet to decide cases concerning the future of Obamacare, compensation for college athletes, voting rights, the balance between religious freedom and LGBT rights, and the extent of students' free speech.

Joe Manchin
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Susan Walsh/AP

1. THE OTHER JOE: Sen. Joe Manchin has once again put his Democratic colleagues on notice. Manchin declared his opposition to his party's sweeping voting-rights proposal and also reaffirmed that he "will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster," signaling that the Senate's de facto 60-vote threshold for most legislation will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Neither stance is all that surprising, but together they effectively kill legislation that President Joe Biden promised just last week to "fight like heck with every tool at my disposal for its passage" and may hamper much more of the president's agenda.

Not everyone took the news well: The eagle-eyed Gabe Fleisher spotted a staffer for Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois shading Manchin.

Screen Shot 2021 06 07 at 3.44.45 AM
Gabe Fleisher/Twitter

The details: Manchin's opposition to the For The People Act (or HR/SR 1) effectively dooms the already ominous outlook for Democrats' sweeping elections bill given that not one Republican has supported it. Some fellow Senate Democrats, including Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, have suggested an exception to the filibuster requirement for voting-rights legislation. But that too clearly seems dead now. Both liberal lawmakers and pundits have worried that failing to pass the bill would mean Republican-led voter restrictions would stay in place and Democrats might struggle to win elections.

  • Now what?: Manchin has said he supports reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act named after Rep. John Lewis, who died last year. Lawmakers have tried to give teeth back to the landmark law after the Supreme Court defanged parts of it in a 2013 ruling. But while some Republicans have expressed a willingness to talk about the proposal, so far only Sen. Lisa Murkowski is publicly behind it.

And it's not just voting rights: Manchin's stance means Democrats may struggle to pass their massive infrastructure plan, changes to gun laws, and other key policy areas. His belief in bipartisanship comes as former senators warn that Democrats risk being left at the legislative altar by Republicans on infrastructure just as their monthslong healthcare talks with the GOP failed to produce a bipartisan agreement before the passage of Obamacare in 2009.

kamala harris foreign trip Getty
Vice President Kamala Harris and Guatemala's minister of foreign affairs, Pedro Brolo, in Guatemala City on Sunday. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

2. Vice President Kamala Harris expected to announce new measures against smuggling and trafficking: Harris landed in Guatemala City on Sunday night to begin her first foreign trip as vice president, a two-day jaunt through Guatemala and Mexico, the Associated Press reports. She could announce new measures as soon as today as she continues her work to try to address the root causes of migration to the US-Mexico border. She is to meet with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, who has faced criticism over corruption in his government.

3. Trump returns to public campaigning with old election lies: Former President Donald Trump used his nearly 90-minute speech at the North Carolina Republican Party convention to reiterate his baseless claim that the election was stolen from him in "the crime of the century," CNN reports. His appearance clearly dismissed the efforts of some advisors to get him to focus on the midterm elections and the GOP's legislative agenda.

4. These are the stocks lawmakers are trading: Rep. Virginia Foxx, a Republican from North Carolina, went on a buying spree last month, purchasing up to $175,000 in various shares. Among her purchases was $15,000 worth of shares in Altria Group Inc., the tobacco giant that owns Philip Morris USA. Democratic Sen. John Hickenlooper's wife, the businesswoman Robin Pringle Hickenlooper, purchased up to $15,000 worth of Peloton shares with the company facing federal scrutiny over its treadmills.

And Sen. Jon Ossoff, the newly elected Democrat from Georgia, is getting out of personal trades entirely. He has created a blind trust to house his investments that once included up to a $5 million stake in Apple.

More officials' portfolios in our latest roundup.

5. Biden's July 4 vaccination goal is at risk: America's declining vaccination rates are imperiling the president's goal of at least 70% of adults receiving a shot before Independence Day, The Washington Post reports. The US is averaging fewer than 1 million shots a day, a decline of more than two-thirds from the peak of 3.4 million in April. Healthcare workers are now trying to target their efforts on hard-to-reach communities.

6. Israel's security chief warns of violence ahead of Netanyahu's expected loss of power: The Shin Bet chief, Nadav Argaman, warned that increasing violent threats against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's opponents might pave the way for "violent and illegal activities," The Post reports. "Mr. Netanyahu, don't leave scorched earth behind you," said Naftali Bennett, a former Netanyahu ally and soon-to-be successor.

7. G7 leaders struck a historic tax agreement over the weekend: The deal - agreed on by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US - would ensure that multinationals pay more tax where they operate by introducing a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15%. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the agreement "would end the race-to-the-bottom in corporate taxation."

Photo collage with images of Barney Harris, cartel drugs, a map of cartel presence in the U.S. and a "Best Teacher" award ribbon.
Alamance County Sheriff's Office; Meg Darling; Reuters; Marianne Ayala/Insider

8. Authorities said a North Carolina teacher died in a gunfight with Mexican cartel members: People who knew Barney Dale Harris, a 40-year-old Spanish teacher, said they were in disbelief that he and his brother-in-law killed a suspected drug runner for the Cartel before being gunned down themselves in a botched robbery attempt on a stash house. Insider retraces Harris' life.

9. Experts say how to snag the 17 coolest jobs available in the federal government: There are more than 20,000 openings in the federal government varying from a civil-rights historian in the Southeast to a recreation specialist in Germany. Yosemite National Park needs a ranger, too. Experts urge patience, saying a lot of people are lost in what can be a lengthy process. More on the openings available everywhere from Nebraska to Thailand.

Meghan_and_Harry_preview_2
WPA Pool/Getty Images

10. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced the birth of their daughter: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their second child, a girl named Lilibet born Friday in Santa Barbara, California. Her full name is Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor. Lilibet's name contains tributes to Queen Elizabeth II and the late Princess Diana.

Today's trivia question: On the heels of Harris' trip, who was the first sitting vice president to venture abroad? Email your guess and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.

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