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On July 19, the moon and five planets will appear together, here’s how you can see



moon and five planets

Mars will be seen as a curved line going thru Jupiter and Saturn. Venus will be convenient to spot as it will seem to be super-bright in the night time sky.

In one of the uncommon occurrences that will take area on July 19, human beings will be capable to see 5 planets in the sky that will show up simultaneously earlier than the daybreak and will be seen alongside with a crescent moon. The 5 planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will show up in the sky about two hours earlier than the sunrise. All the planets will be seen to the bare eye, however, to see Mercury, telescope or binoculars will probable be needed. Jupiter and Saturn will be the first planets that humans will be in a position to spot in the southwestern sky. Jupiter will show up as a sinking vivid begin and the ringed planet simply above it in the proper corner.

According to planet observers, Mars will be seen as a curved line going via Jupiter and Saturn. Venus will be convenient to spot as it will seem super-bright in the night time sky the place the curve line of Mars goes down to the horizon in the northeast. Mercury will be challenging to spot and one would want a telescope or a pair of binoculars to see it. According to reports, Mercury will be seen forty five minutes earlier than the break of day in the northeast. Although there is no want for telescope or binoculars to watch Jupiter, we would possibly see it is one or two of its 4 greatest moons if we use them.

Solar eclipse on summer time solstice day

People closing month witnessed any other uncommon prevalence as they noticed the photo voltaic eclipse on the equal day as the summer season solstice, the longest day of the 12 months after which the days commence waning again. The eclipse began at 9:15 am and used to be seen till 3:04 pm with the most eclipse taking vicinity at 12:10 pm. It used to be seen from Asia, Africa, the Pacific, the Indian , components of Europe and Australia. The solstices are normally the opposites on the two aspects of the equator. For example, the summer season solstice in the southern hemisphere is iciness on the different side, which is in the northern hemisphere, and reverse each and every time.

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Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has lambasted the first, known as H.R. 1, and the second gets rid of a legal shield for police officers, known



The Senate is threatening to box in President Biden and congressional Democrats, who pledged to enact a bold agenda if given power.

With the House passing a slate of big bills and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) vowing to give them a vote on the floor, Democrats are quickly barreling toward a pressure point on whether to nix the legislative filibuster.

Without structural changes in the Senate, progressives warn that many of Biden’s big campaign promises are effectively doomed.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), asked about the progressive criticism, acknowledged, “There’s truth to it.”

“Unfortunately, we’ve reached that point. And if enough members in the Senate agree, we’ll change the rules,” Durbin said.

The filibuster has come back in the spotlight after the parliamentarian ruled recently that an increase of the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour didn’t comply with rules governing what could be included in the coronavirus legislation.

But there are bigger tests awaiting Senate Democrats as the House sends them a growing number of bills that likely can’t pass with the filibuster intact and wouldn’t meet the requirements of being squeezed into reconciliation.

Just this week, the House passed a sweeping election and ethics reform bill and police reform legislation — neither of which can get 60 votes in its current form. Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has lambasted the first, known as H.R. 1, and the second gets rid of a legal shield for police officers, known as qualified immunity. That’s considered a non-starter for most Republicans.

Schumer has also put the Equality Act — a sweeping civil rights bill that expands protections in education, housing, employment and more to LGBT people— on the Senate calendar, a first step to giving the bill a vote.

Schumer, during a weekly press conference, pledged that the Senate would no longer be a “graveyard,” but asked if he was willing to nix the legislative filibuster if Republicans blocked bills, he demurred.

“The bottom line is … we’re going to come together as a caucus and figure out a way to get the bold action the American people demand. But we will put bills on the floor. That’s the huge difference between McConnell and us,” Schumer said.–162023594/–162024071/–162023594/–162024071/–162013994/–162014183/–162015510/–162015611/–162015632/
Part of the problem for supporters of nixing the filibuster is that they don’t currently have the votes among Senate Democrats to do it.

A handful of others senators are viewed as wary of nixing the legislative filibuster. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are on the record against getting rid of it, positions they both reiterated as recently as this week.

But Democrats are betting the calculus within the caucus changes as they bring up big priorities for the party and Republicans block them from getting the 60 votes needed to overcome initial procedural hurdles.

“When they come to understand the futility of what we’re engaged in. We can’t even consider serious issues because of the Senate rules, and they have a different point of view,” Durbin said, asked what it would take to get Manchin and Sinema to a different position.

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who is viewed as a key vote on potentially nixing the filibuster, told HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” that the filibuster was now being used to “stonewall” legislation rather than promote bipartisanship.

“I think we do need to go back and take a look at it. But I think we ought to give this Congress a chance to screw up before we change it,” he said.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who hasn’t explicitly come out in favor of gutting the legislative filibuster, predicted that if Democrats try to bring up bills and Republicans routinely block them, that will change the dynamic within the caucus.

“I think if you have an abstract discussion about should we change Senate rules, there’s a lot of people that just aren’t particularly passionate about that discussion. But if we start to get faced with a situation that bills we have repeatedly promised to our voters … and then we find that Republicans want to block it, then we’ll have to ask ourselves what’s more important, keeping the promises that we made or some artificial Senate rule?” Kaine said.

Kaine added that if the bills were blocked and never passed because of GOP opposition and the Senate rules, it would be Democrats who would face backlash from voters in 2022.

“I think voters — I think they will hold it against the majority, if the majority doesn’t do what we said we would do,” he said.

There’s growing support within the caucus, even as recently as this week, for nixing the legislative filibuster in order to pass key priorities, building pressure on Schumer and Biden.

“I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this, and to be honest I started out believing we should keep the filibuster. … But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the filibuster has long been the enemy of progress. In fact, it’s been a highly effective tool to thwart the will of the people,” Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) wrote in a Facebook post this week.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who had previously expressed an openness to cutting the filibuster, also told Mother Jones after the House’s passage of H.R. 1 that “I would get rid of the filibuster.”

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who has long supported filibuster reform, said during an MSNBC interview that while the caucus didn’t currently have the votes to get rid of the filibuster, it could potentially reform it.

“One of the reforms we’re thinking about when it comes to the filibuster is just going back to the old days and saying if you want to stop something from passing then you actually have to sit on the floor, you actually have to give speech after speech,” Murphy said.

But to nix or reform the filibuster, Democrats would need every senator in their 50-member caucus and Vice President Harris. It’s not clear if growing support from colleagues or even the prospect of entrenched opposition will sway the caucus’s biggest opponents to getting rid of the rule.

Manchin, during a series of interviews on Sunday, reiterated his opposition to getting rid of the filibuster altogether.

Manchin firm on support for filibuster, mulls making it ‘a little bit…
Clyburn: Allowing filibuster to be used to deny voting rights would…
But in remarks that quickly caught the attention of reform advocates, Manchin signaled an openness to making it more “painful” to use the procedural roadblock, including potentially looking at talking filibusters that require opponents to be physically on the floor.

“If you want to make it a little bit more painful, make them stand there and talk. I’m willing to look at any way we can,” Manchin told “Meet the Press.”

“But I am not willing to take away the involvement of the minority,” he added. “I’ve been in the minority.”

On Sunday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a longtime defender of the filibuster, signaled that he might nevertheless be open to filibuster reforms that could make it easier for Democrats to advance their legislative agenda.

In a series of television interviews, Manchin emphasized his support for the filibuster rule, which effectively imposes a 60-vote threshold for most legislative action in the Senate. But he told Meet the Press host Chuck Todd that “if you want to make [filibustering] a little bit more painful — make them stand there and talk — I’m willing to look at any way we can.”

He also reiterated that same point elsewhere on Sunday, telling Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that “[the filibuster] should be painful if you want to use it.”

That may not sound like a big deal, but it is: As Politico reporter Andrew Desiderio pointed out on Twitter Sunday, what Manchin appears to be describing is a throwback to the “talking filibuster,” which would likely pose a much more surmountable obstacle to the narrow Democratic Senate majority.

As Desiderio explained, under a “talking filibuster,” any “member of the minority party can filibuster as long as he/she stays put on the floor.” But once a member finishes speaking, the filibuster would end, and “there’d be a vote at a simple majority threshold” of 50 votes, instead of the existing 60-vote threshold required to end a filibuster.

That’s a big change, because there’s currently no actual filibustering required to filibuster in the Senate, at least not in the conventional sense. As explained back in 2015, the modern filibuster doesn’t require a senator talking on the floor for hours on end to delay a bill.

Instead, today’s filibuster is a straightforward move to reject unanimous consent on a bill that the minority can wield painlessly: According to former Vox writer Ezra Klein, “Today’s filibusters simply paralyze the Senate until the majority either finds 60 votes to proceed or gives up and moves on to another piece of business.”

If that rule were changed, though — say, by going back to the talking filibuster of yore — filibusters might only paralyze the Senate until the minority runs out of members willing to hold the floor.

In the final days leading up to the start of jury selection in the murder and manslaughter trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, officers responded to at least three shootings that killed one man and injured two others.

The homicide happened close to the scene of George Floyd’s death nearly a year ago, at the intersection of 38th and Chicago, now known as George Floyd Square.

A man in his 30s died at Hennepin County Medical Center after the shooting around 5:45 p.m. Saturday.

At 10:44 p.m., a man was injured in another shooting in Uptown in the area of Lagoon between Girard and Hennepin avenues. The man was taken to HCMC with non-life threatening injuries.

At 4:49 a.m. Sunday, officers responded to a shooting in north Minneapolis in the 2700 block of Upton Avenue North. A man suffering from non-critical injuries was taken to North Memorial Medical Center. Police reported that the man was in a vehicle when he was shot.

President Biden on Sunday signed an executive order aimed at promoting voting rights amid a push by Republican-led state legislatures to roll back voting access in the wake of former president Donald Trump’s 2020 loss and his baseless effort to cast doubt on the integrity of U.S. elections.

The order comes on the 56th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” the day that state troopers violently beat hundreds of marchers, including John Lewis, the late civil rights icon who served as a Democratic congressman from Georgia, on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala.

“Today, on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, I am signing an executive order to make it easier for eligible voters to register to vote and improve access to voting,” Biden said Sunday in a videotaped address to the Martin and Coretta Scott King Unity Breakfast. “Every eligible voter should be able to vote and have that vote counted. If you have the best ideas, you have nothing to hide. Let the people vote.”

The order directs federal agencies to develop a strategic plan for promoting voter registration and participation, including potentially applying to be a state-designated voter registration agency and providing recommendations on leave for federal employees to vote or to serve as poll workers.

Some states have programs to automatically register eligible Americans to vote, unless they opt out, when they interact with state motor vehicle departments as as well as agencies that administer federal programs such as military recruitment, Medicaid and food stamps. Under the Trump administration, however, some federal agencies refused to share the data that would allow states to automatically register voters this way, citing concerns about the privacy of health data. Biden’s executive order instructs federal agencies to relax that policy.

The order also aims to expand access to voting among active-duty members of the military as well as all eligible federally incarcerated people.


President Biden speaks at the White House on March 6.
President Biden speaks at the White House on March 6. (Erin Scott/Reuters)
And it establishes a steering group on Native American voting rights tasked with producing recommendations by next year on expanding voter outreach and turnout among Native American communities.

Biden’s move comes days after the House passed expansive legislation to create uniform national voting standards, overhaul campaign finance laws and outlaw partisan redistricting. The measure, H.R. 1, largely mirrors a bill passed by the chamber two years ago. But it has faced fierce Republican attacks that threaten to stop it cold in the Senate.

The bill’s voting provisions would guarantee no-excuse voting and at least 15 days of early voting for federal elections; require states to use their government records to automatically register citizens to vote; restore voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences; and mandate the use of paper ballots.


During his remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month, Trump blasted H.R. 1, accusing Democrats of wanting to register all welfare recipients to vote.

No Republicans voted for the bill in 2019 or last week, when it was approved 220 to 210.

John Ratcliffe, Trump’s former director of national intelligence, quickly accused Biden and Democrats of “trying to fix a problem that didn’t exist.”

“For all the complaints that you heard about the election in 2020, the complaint that no one said was, ‘It was too difficult to vote,’ ” Ratcliffe said on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures.” “And yet, what [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi and President Biden say is, ‘Well, we have got to remove obstacles from people voting,’ when, in fact, that really was not a problem.”

Dozens of Republican-controlled state legislatures, meanwhile, are considering sweeping new laws that would restrict voting options ahead of the 2022 midterms. Some of the measures would restrict absentee balloting, while others would limit early voting and other aspects of election administration.


One bill in Georgia would block early voting on Sundays, which critics consider a flagrant attempt to thwart Souls to the Polls, the Democratic turnout effort focused on Black churchgoers on the final Sunday before an election.

In his remarks Sunday, Biden noted that in 2020, even with the obstacles presented by the coronavirus pandemic, “more Americans voted than ever before.”But he also warned that the country is witnessing a “never-before-seen effort to ignore, undermine and undo the will of the people.” He cited both the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob as well as the 250 bills introduced by lawmakers in 43 states this legislative session aimed at making it more difficult to vote.

Information on the Saturday evening homicide at George Floyd Square is limited and Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said he doesn’t anticipate any new information will be released Sunday.

Initial findings in the investigation are that the victim and got into an argument when the suspect shot the victim. The suspect then fled the scene in a light colored Suburban that was struck by gunfire.

No arrests have been made in the three shootings, Elder said Sunday morning. He added that the shootings have no correlation to the upcoming Chauvin trial and that nice weather typically drives an uptick in crime.

Saturday’s homicide is likely the 12th homicide in Minneapolis so far this year. Elder said charges in Thursday’s fatal hit-and-run in north Minneapolis haven’t yet been filed, but if charged as a homicide, that would mark the city’s 11th homicide.

A 54-year-old man was arrested in connection to the crash that killed 49-year-old Jerry Lee Johnson, according to a media release Sunday from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Johnson was killed at 5:55 p.m. Thursday when he was struck near the intersection of 30th and Newtown Avenue North. The medical examiner stated the cause of death as multiple blunt force injuries.

Support for the talking filibuster isn’t really a new position for Manchin either, as Desiderio points out: In 2011, Manchin backed a similar, unsuccessful measure that would have “required that Senators who wish to filibuster a bill must actually take the floor and make remarks.”

As things stand, the filibuster doesn’t affect all Senate business — judicial nominations, for example, are only subject to a simple 50-vote majority, as are Cabinet appointments — but it does limit most legislation. The one notable exception to that rule is the budget reconciliation process, which Democrats are on the verge of using to pass a $1.9 trillion stimulus package into law this week. But reconciliation is also an arcane, limited process that would be incompatible with many Democratic priorities under current congressional rules.

Despite being the very thing that imposes a 60-vote threshold on much Senate business, the filibuster itself isn’t subject to the same threshold. If the current Democratic caucus majority in the Senate — with its 50 votes, plus Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaker — wanted to eliminate the filibuster altogether, it could do so.

It won’t, unless Manchin and other moderates have a dramatic change of heart — but Manchin’s comments are a reminder that Democrats could still use their majority to find a way around the filibuster if their members aren’t willing to end it outright.

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Filibuster changes could pave the way for a bold Democratic legislative agenda
Obviously, Manchin’s comments Sunday aren’t a definite commitment to do something about the filibuster — but they’re still extremely good news for Democrats, who appear as if they will soon face a string of futile fights to win over 10 Republican votes for priorities like voting rights and a minimum wage increase.

Specifically, Manchin’s change in tone, though slight, comes as Senate Democrats prepare for a fight over a voting rights package recently passed by the House of Representatives, and as high-profile party leaders begin to get behind ditching the filibuster.

In an interview this week, for example, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn told the Guardian that “there’s no way under the sun that in 2021 that we are going to allow the filibuster to be used to deny voting rights.”

“Here we are talking about the Voting Rights Act [late Rep. John Lewis] worked so hard for and that’s named in his honor and they’re going to filibuster it to death?” Clyburn said. “That ain’t gonna happen.”

As a member of the House rather than the Senate, Clyburn himself has no say over the fate of the filibuster, but he’s still an influential, longtime leader in Congress. And he’s not alone in arguing for change: Just this past week, several Senate Democrats indicated they would also be open to abolishing the filibuster to clear the way for priorities like voting rights.

Despite some movement within the Democratic caucus, the path to filibuster elimination — or even reform — still isn’t exactly clear. Democrats would need all 50 members of their majority to make it happen, and Manchin’s comments Sunday confirm that he’s still in the “hard no” camp on abolishing the filibuster, as is Arizona Sen. Krysten Sinema, who has staked out an aggressively pro-filibuster position.

If the Democratic Senate majority does decide to take action though, there are lots of things they could do short of blowing up the filibuster for good. As Vox’s Ian Millhiser wrote last month, with just 50 votes and Harris to break the tie, Democrats could limit which bills are subject to the filibuster, make it harder to filibuster a bill in the first place, or reduce the cloture threshold in the Senate.

On Meet the Press Sunday, Manchin indicated some willingness to consider that first option, in addition to a talking filibuster, telling Todd he might be open “to a reconciliation” style approach for passing bills if Democrats are met with repeated refusals from Manchin’s “Republican friends” to work together.

According to some Democrats, such as Clyburn, changing the filibuster is vital to the future not just of the Biden administration’s legislative agenda, but to the Democratic Party’s ability to compete in future elections.

“If Manchin and Sinema enjoy being in the majority,” Clyburn told the Guardian, “They had better figure out a way to get around the filibuster when it comes to voting and civil rights.”

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The filibuster effectively sets the bar for most legislation at 60 votes in the Senate, which means that the Democrats currently need the support of 10 Republican senators



Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a crucial swing-vote in the Senate Democrats’ slim majority, said Sunday that he won’t bend in his support for the filibuster, a Senate rule that forces most legislation to require bipartisan support to pass.

But he added that he would be open to Democrats passing more important legislation like voting reforms by a party-line vote — if senators are given ample space for bipartisan negotiation first.

“I’m not going to change my mind on the filibuster,” Manchin said in an interview with “Meet the Press.”

“It takes listening to the minority to make sure the majority is getting it right.”

The filibuster effectively sets the bar for most legislation at 60 votes in the Senate, which means that the Democrats currently need the support of 10 Republican senators to get many of their legislative items across the finish line.

Progressives have been pressuring Senate Democrats to abolish the filibuster, arguing that lowering that threshold is the only way to get President Joe Biden’s agenda enacted, but Manchin’s vote would be needed to get rid of the procedural rule.

Manchin has repeatedly bucked those calls, although he did say on Sunday’s show that he was “willing to look at” ideas to make the filibuster “a little bit more painful,” like requiring lawmakers to take to the floor for marathon speeches if they wanted to use the procedure.

That kind of change would make it harder for Republicans to rely on the filibuster in the hopes of blocking Democratic priorities, potentially securing smoother sailing for Democratic legislation.

There is another option, reconciliation, that allows the Senate to pass a limited number of budget-related bills each year with a simple majority.


Virginia’s contest for governor could again offer hints of the nation’s political future

Here’s why Democrats are still going big on their Covid relief bill
It’s a process Senate Democrats used to pass their $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill with just 50 votes on Saturday, and one that Manchin said could be on the table again if bipartisan negotiations fail in the future. 

“There’s no need for us to go to reconciliation until the other process has failed. That means the normal process of a committee, a , amendments,” he said when asked about whether reconciliation could be used to pass voting reforms in the future.

President Joe Biden will sign an executive order Sunday directing the federal government to promote voting access in a move meant to commemorate the 56th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery marches for civil rights.

Biden will order federal agencies to expand access to voter registration and election information, according to an administration official. That includes directing heads of all federal agencies to submit a “strategic plan” to the White House within 200 days on how their departments can promote voter registration and participation.

Additionally, the U.S. federal chief information officer will coordinate across federal agencies to “improve or modernize” federal websites and digital services that provide election and voting information under the order.

More:The House passed a sweeping voting rights act. What’s in it?

Biden’s executive action, limited in scope, comes as he’s backing Democratic-led voting rights legislation, H.R. 1, that cleared the House this week on a party-line vote. It would usher in sweeping election reforms such as increasing early voting, lessening photo-identification requirements, allowing-same day-registration and mandating independent redistricting of congressional districts.

President Joe Biden signs a series of executive orders on health care, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in Washington. The Democratic push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour has emerged as an early flashpoint in the push for a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.
The bill would also combat efforts of Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country that – inspired by former President Donald Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud in his election loss – are considering new measures that would restrict voter access.

Biden is expected to sign the order as he virtually addresses the and Coretta King unity breakfast Sunday afternoon in remembrance of “Blood Sunday” in Selma, Alabama. On March 7, 1965, more than 100 peaceful protesters on their way to Montgomery, including the late Rep. John Lewis, were met on the Edmund Pettus Bridge by a wall of police. The protesters were tear gassed and beaten. Lewis’ skull was fractured.

One person has died after reports of shots fired near the George Floyd Memorial in Minneapolis on Saturday.

Police say they received ShotSpotter reports along with 911 calls for two people who were shot in the area of East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, the site of the George Floyd Memorial in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood.

Initially, officers were told by callers the victim would be brought to a barricade that blocks off the memorial from traffic. However, when police arrived, they say they learned the victims had been transported to a nearby hospital. Officers say they were also met with “interference” from people at the memorial.

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At Hennepin County Medical Center, police learned a shooting victim, a man in his 30s, had arrived at the hospital but later died from their injuries. At the same time, police say the second victim never arrived at the hospital and has not yet been located.

So far, police say they’ve learned that the victim in the shooting had been involved in an argument with the shooter prior to shots being fired. The suspect then reportedly the scene in a cream or light-colored Suburban, believed to be a 2005 to 2016 body style, headed northbound on Chicago Avenue. Police believe the Suburban was hit by gunfire during the incident.

They are asking anyone with information on the shooting to call the police department or CrimeStopper with information at 800-222-TIPS.

More:GOP seeks to roll back mail-in voting in states such as Georgia and Pennsylvania that Trump is contesting

More:Democrats and Republicans are battling over voting rights in Congress and at statehouses. Which side will win?

Typically, Biden, other top Democrats and civil rights leaders would pilgrimage to Selma for the anniversary, but there is no in-person gathering amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biden’s executive order will also:

► Direct federal agencies to assist states with voter registration efforts under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

►Order the General Services Administration to improve and modernize the federal voter registration website

►Order recommendations on leave for federal employees allowing them to vote or volunteer as nonpartisan poll workers

►Direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology to evaluate and publish recommendations on steps needed to ensure the online federal voter registration form is accessible to people with disabilities.

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►Direct Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to establish procedures to annually offer each member of the armed forces the opportunity to register to vote in federal elections, update voter registration or request an absentee ballot.

►Direct the attorney general to establish procedures to provide educational materials on voter registration and voting for all eligible individuals in federal prisons or on probation by federal court.

►Establish a Native American voting rights steering group that will work with tribal organizations to identify best practices to protect voting rights of Native Americans

Full Manchin Interview: Covid relief ‘took a little longer than necessary, but we got it done’
MARCH 7, 202107:56
House Democrats just passed a major ethics and voting reform bill last week but that legislation is unlikely to get much bipartisan support. There are strict rules as to what types of provisions can qualify to pass under reconciliation, so it’s unclear how much of that bill could survive the reconciliation process.

“I will change my mind if we need to go to a reconciliation” if “we have to get something done,” Manchin said, but only after “my Republican friends have the ability to have their say also.”

Manchin, one of the most moderate members of the Democrats’ thin majority in the Senate, has wielded significant power considering his party can’t afford a single defection when it tries to pass legislation or nominations by a party-line vote.

That power helped Manchin secure changes to the unemployment benefit provisions in the Covid relief bill, a demand that briefly delayed the final vote.

The bill includes the $1,400 stimulus checks sent directly to Americans who qualify, as well as other provisions like a a temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit and an extension in additional unemployment, as well as aid for health care, state governments and vaccine distribution.

The House is expected to pass the legislation early this week, sending it to Biden for it to become law.

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proof majority in the Senate and 18 state legislatures turned red—a political upheaval that is still tormenting Democrats as they watch those legislatures push through voter suppression laws that will shape American elections for years to come.



he Senate just passed the $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill—one of the biggest emergency spending packages in history, targeted to the poor and the middle class. But despite full Democratic control of Congress and the White House, it came with significant omissions from the wish list of Democratic priorities: no $15 minimum wage, lower jobless benefits, a tighter income limit for the checks. With just 50 senators and no Republicans crossing the line, President Joe Biden and his party had to bow to their most conservative members. 

You can almost hear the lamentations on the left: “If only we’d had another vote or two in the Senate, Biden and Chuck Schumer wouldn’t have had to cut $100 a week from the unemployment benefit to get Joe Manchin’s vote. And then we could keep going: ditch the legislative filibuster, pass that bill to stop voter suppression in the red states …”

And politically, there’s the worry that in two years, that slim majority will have much bigger consequences: The Democrats will take a beating at the polls for being unable to deliver the full package that most of the caucus, and the White House, wanted.

Before you join the chorus, you might want to check in with the last two Democratic presidents. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both landed in office with much bigger majorities, and ended up taking it on the chin anyway. Despite the narrowest of majorities to get anything done, Biden, in fact, may be in a much better position.

When Clinton came to power in 1993, he had wide majorities in both houses: 57 Democrats in the Senate, and 258 Democrats in the House. But the resistance to his key economic package was so intense within his own party that his plan passed by just a single vote in both the House and the Senate, and only after important elements of that plan—like a gasoline tax—were thrown over the side to win the votes of suburban Democrats.

When Obama was inaugurated in 2009, Democrats and their independent allies held 59 seats in the Senate, and when Al Franken finally claimed his seat months later, they had a supermajority of 60—enough to overcome a filibuster. But in order to hold those votes, the Obama Administration had to keep the cost of its Great Recession stimulus package under $1 trillion—an amount, his team later conceded, was too small to trigger a robust recovery. Similarly, in order to get reluctant Democrats like Joe Lieberman to vote for the Affordable Care , the White House had to kill the public health-insurance option, which left progressive Democrats disheartened. (As Obama accounts in his memoir, “A Promised Land,” the handwringing from members of his own party took much of the shine off his signature achievement as president, the biggest expansion of health care since Medicare.)×2300-161962847/×2300-161962847/

The two ex-presidents also share a common, painful experience with the political consequences of their battles. Clinton’s tax and budget initiatives were aimed at reducing the then-unacceptable budget deficit of some $250 billion—a deficit that helped propel independent candidate Ross Perot to 19 percent of the vote in 1992. (I hope you realize we’ve become Eisenhower Republicans, Clinton groused to his staff.) The policy ultimately worked—Washington was running a huge surplus by the end of the Clinton years—but in the short term it was a political liability, leading to the loss of both houses of Congress in 1994.

For Obama, the slow pace of the recovery and the Republicans’ relentless political attacks on Obamacare led to massive midterm losses in 2010 at every level. The House turned Republican, the Democrats lost their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and 18 state legislatures turned red—a political upheaval that is still tormenting Democrats as they watch those legislatures push through voter suppression laws that will shape American elections for years to come.

But this time, Democrats may be able to provide a more upbeat answer to a question the approach of Passover inspires: “Why is this one-vote victory different from the other one-vote victories?”

This time, the benefits to tens of millions of Americans will be clear: $1,400 in bank accounts; extended jobless benefits; expanded childcare help. Donald Trump understood the impact of such assistance when he insisted his name be on the checks sent to American households. Joe Biden won’t be as blatant, but the direct will be a sharp contrast to what happened under Obama’s stimulus, when most Americans didn’t even realize they were getting a tax cut. It’s a sharp departure as well from the impact of Obamacare, where the benefits did not begin until long after the bill was passed, and after the midterm elections as well.

And this time, the bill that was passed was backed by enormous majorities of the citizenry—polls suggest that as many as 75 percent support the Covid plan, including clear majorities of Republicans. This suggests that the unanimous opposition to the plan by Congressional Republicans may leave the party with a political posture at a polar extreme from where they were in 1994 and 2009. The GOP was able to (inaccurately) pin Clinton with the “largest tax increase in history”; they were able to characterize the Obama stimulus and the Affordable Care Act as a giveaway to “those people.” But if the polls are right, Republican efforts to paint the Covid relief as a “blue state bailout” or a “Pelosi payoff” aren’t working.

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More significant, if the impact of $1,400 payments, the vaccination assistance and the other elements of the plan are really felt back home—by voters, who notice the difference in their bank accounts and their health—it is actually conceivable that the line “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” could become something other than the punchline of a joke.

It is, of course, possible that all those proposals that fell by the wayside—the $15 minimum wage, higher income limits on the stimulus checks, bigger jobless benefit—will trigger so much grousing from progressives that Biden has trouble keeping his own side of the aisle in line. If they’re thinking about 2022, they should be careful how much complaining they do. With the slimmest possible of majorities, Biden managed to push through something whose potential political payoff his two Democratic predecessors would have envied.

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