Republicans slap down Manchin’s voting rights compromise – US politics live

  • Mitch McConnell says proposal is ‘rotten to the core’
  • Manchin’s plan tries to attract bipartisan support in Senate

Christopher Staudinger reports for the Louisiana Illuminator and Floodlight, a nonprofit that partners with the Guardian:

One morning in September, word of layoffs began to spread quickly through Marathon Petroleum’s refinery in the small industrial community of Garyville, Louisiana.

Related: A US oil company cut nearly 2,000 jobs – and reaped $2.1bn in pandemic benefits

Greetings from Washington, live blog readers.

Most of the city’s attention was focused on the supreme court yesterday, as the justices dismissed a Republican challenge to the Affordable Care Act. However, there were also some significant developments on Capitol Hill.

Democrats can change the packaging, but their plan for a power-grab of America’s electoral system is still rotten to the core. My full statement: https://t.co/HLRuDSZ3lS

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Joe Biden signs bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday – as it happened

  • ‘Great nations don’t ignore their most painful moments,’ president says
  • ‘It is time to move forward,’ Biden says after supreme court decision
  • Supreme court votes 7-2, preserving healthcare for millions
  • House votes to repeal measure that gave Bush authority to invade Iraq
  • New York grand jury stores up trouble for Trump Organization executives

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US failing to offer ‘Havana syndrome’ sufferers adequate care, diplomats say – live

  • Officials ‘invalidating our injuries and experiences’, letter states
  • Biden says US must redouble efforts to investigate virus origins
  • Senate Republicans want to lower cost of $1.7tn infrastructure plan

Michigan’s Democratic secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, was on the front lines of the protests and election disinformation fueled by Trump’s “Big Lie” about election fraud as the battleground state’s chief election official.

In a new interview with the Associated Press, Benson warns that the ongoing disputes and conspiracy theories around the 2020 election are only the beginning of what she sees as a sustained attack on American democracy that will culminate in a renewed attack on election legitimacy in 2024.

AP: Across the country, we are seeing several GOP-controlled legislatures seeking to exert more control over election officials. How concerned are you that we could end up seeing more of these outside ballot reviews like in Arizona or even takeovers of local election offices?

BENSON: I feel very strongly that the battles that we saw around 2020’s election ... was just the beginning of what is clearly turning out to be a multi-year, strategic, nationally coordinated, partisan assault on the vote in our country and on our democracy. And we will see another battle in the 2022 elections around that truth and around the security of the vote, around access to the vote. But it’s also all going to culminate, I believe, in an effort to try again in 2024 what those democracy deniers attempted to do in 2020 but failed. And in 2024, the bad actors, I believe, will be more coordinated, more strategic, better funded and will have the benefit of doing this work for a number of years. I’m deeply concerned about the future health of our democracy.

Democrats Move to Fulfill Biden’s Election Promise on Healthcare ‘Public Option’

Two Congressional Democrats are pushing to create a “public option” for healthcare coverage to compete with private health insurance plans, and aim to introduce legislation by the end of the year, NBC News reports.

A federal public option will help lower health care costs and guarantee that health care is a right not a privilege.@FrankPallone and I plan to work with our colleagues to craft comprehensive legislation to create a federal public option. https://t.co/Df0YmgEN35

Unlike 2009, @JoeLieberman isn't around to kill the public option. But now Democrats have thinner majorities, no hope of Republican support and are guaranteed to face an assault from health industry groups who are prepared to fight this. https://t.co/nMXYoQzPhG

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Madam Speaker review: how Nancy Pelosi outwitted Bush and Trump

John Boehner calls the Democrat the most powerful House speaker ever. Susan Page’s authoritative biography shows why

John Boehner, a Republican predecessor, concedes that Nancy Pelosi may be the most powerful House speaker in history. Pelosi provided George W Bush with the votes he needed to prevent a depression, as Republicans balked. She helped make Obamacare the law of the land.

Related: On the House review: John Boehner’s lament for pre-Trump Republicans

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Biden says he’s willing ‘to compromise’ with Republicans on infrastructure bill – live

  • President meets with a bipartisan group of lawmakers
  • Biden says everyone in US now eligible for Covid vaccine
  • Biden directs agencies to stop using phrases like ‘illegal alien’
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Mike Lindell (a.k.a. the MyPillow guy) kicked his feud with Dominion Voting System Inc. up a notch on Monday, according to Bloomberg News:

Fauci hits back at rightwing criticism and says attacks on him ‘bizarre’

Scientist forced to defend himself from attacks by Trump allies and says ‘I can’t be bothered with getting distracted’

Anthony Fauci has described attacks on him from Republicans as “bizarre”, after a barrage of criticism from senior GOP figures.

Related: ‘There is a solution’: a Covid survivor’s life-or-death battle for Medicare for All

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Covid cases fall over 80% among US nursing home staff and residents

Despite vaccine hesitancy, figures show a big drop in infections – giving hope that, after a brutal year, an end is in sight

Joan Phillips, a certified nursing assistant in a Florida nursing home, loved her job but dreaded the danger of going to work in the pandemic. When vaccines became available in December, she jumped at the chance to get one.

Months later, it appears that danger has faded. After the rollout of Covid vaccines, the number of new Covid cases among nursing home...

Republicans want to make it harder to pass ballot initiatives. That should alarm us | David Daley

State legislators are trying to make it more difficult for citizens to take action when their own representatives won’t

They walked through Michigan college football games dressed as gerrymandered districts. They crisscrossed Idaho in a decades-old RV dubbed the Medicaid Express. In Florida, they united black and white, left and right, Trump-loving “deplorables” and radical criminal justice reformers into a mighty moral movement to end an ugly vestige of Jim Crow.

Related: The...

The Ten Year War review: Obamacare, Trump and Biden’s battles yet to come

Jonathan Cohn’s study of the fight for healthcare coverage delivers depth, dish and much for Democrats to ponder

Once upon a time, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was unpopular, viewed by many as welfare redux. Barack Obama’s promise that “If you like your healthcare plan, you’ll be able to keep your healthcare plan”, didn’t exactly work out. By the middle of the 2010s, so-called Obamacare had cost the Democrats both houses of Congress.

Related: The Good American review: Bob Gersony and a better foreign policy

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Don’t swerve the culture war – that’s the lesson from Joe Biden to UK progressives | Owen Jones

The Democrats’ victory involved working with minorities and helping the working class. Keir Starmer, take heed

“Culture war” used to be a term inextricably linked with the maelstrom of US politics. Popularised by American sociologist James Davison Hunter in his 1991 book Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America, it described how socially progressive and conservative coalitions were locked in a seemingly eternal conflict. It could make for surprising alliances, he noted, citing Pr...