The TAKE with Rick Klein
Imagine the tweets and the threats if this was happening under a certain different president.
The only Biden Cabinet appointee to be pulled back? Sen. Joe Manchin made that happen. A Democrat standing in the way of a $15 minimum wage, the House-passed voting-rights overhaul and ending the Senate filibuster? Manchin, Manchin and Manchin again.
The senior senator from West Virginia is now opposing both the process and a big piece of the pay-for surrounding President Joe Biden's infrastructure-and-much-more proposal, while promising to bring a handful of other Democrats along with him.
"We're going to have some leverage here," Manchin said in a radio interview with a home-state host Monday.
That's an understatement. Manchin's vote is, like all others in a 50-50 Senate, potentially decisive, and he has a history of speaking for more than just for himself.
It's in neither Biden's nature nor his interest to go to war with a Democratic senator who represents a state he lost by nearly 39 points. The official White House line is that elements of the bill are open to negotiation, though some of the president's allies on the left are again handling Manchin less diplomatically.
Few would have bet on the Biden agenda clashing with the party's dwindling moderate wing more frequently than with progressives in the early days of his administration.
Still, to an important segment of the party, Manchin setting a slower pace is actually a good thing -- even for those who want to see Biden succeed. His point -- that getting to 50 votes shouldn't be easy -- is a concept not too foreign to other Biden goals.
The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper
As COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available, many Americans have taken steps to preserve the white card that lists, among other things, a patient's name, birthday, type of vaccine and the locations each dose was taken. The idea being that they may need to present the card as proof of vaccination in the future.
While states and localities chart a path toward a return to normalcy, the concept of requiring proof of vaccination, also known as a vaccine passport, for travel or admittance to schools or businesses is picking up steam.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert and Biden's chief medical adviser, said the federal government pushing for vaccine passports is unlikely, though he left an opening for private entities to pursue the idea.
"I do believe that there will be individual entities that will do that. There may be theaters that say you don't get in unless you have proof of vaccination, there may be colleges or other educational institutions that do that," he said on a Politico podcast. "You could foresee how an independent entity might say, 'Well, we can't be dealing with you unless we know you're vaccinated,' but it's not going to be mandated from the federal government."
The concept has already met opposition from the right, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issuing an executive order banning businesses in the Sunshine State from requiring proof of vaccination. DeSantis called the notion "completely unacceptable," framing vaccine passports as a risk to individual liberty.
In the same way that wearing masks was politicized during the height of the pandemic, requiring proof of vaccination could be the next flashpoint in the quest to a full reopening. It further highlights that there are no easy answers to how Americans will experience a post-pandemic world.
The TIP with Alisa Wiersema
Amid a national reckoning over transgender rights, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, made waves on Monday with a veto that earned praise from many trans-rights advocates. In declining to advance House Bill 1570 -- which would have banned gender-affirming medical treatment for transgender youth -- Hutchinson called the legislation "vast government overreach."
"House Bill 1570 would put the state as the definitive oracle of medical care, overriding parents, patients and health care experts. While in some instances the state must act to protect life, the state should not presume to jump into the middle of every medical, human and ethical issue," Hutchinson told reporters. Prior to making his decision, the governor said he met with transgender youth and health providers last week.
Hutchinson acknowledged that he expects the state's General Assembly to override his veto, but said, "I'm hopeful though that my action will cause conservative Republican legislators to think through the issue again and hopefully come up with a more restrained approach that allows a thoughtful study of the science and ethics surrounding the issue before acting."
Hutchinson's veto comes on the heels of South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem's recent veto of a sweeping bill that would have banned transgender women and girls from female sports. Critics were also quick to point out that the Arkansas governor had signed similar legislation in May.
"This law is a discriminatory and shameful attempt by politicians to stigmatize and exclude transgender teens," Holly Dickson, ACLU of Arkansas executive director, said in a statement at the time.
ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Tuesday morning's episode features ABC News Chief Business and Economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, who breaks down the Supreme Court ruling on Google's copyright dispute with Oracle. ABC News Foreign correspondent James Longman tells us what we need to know about a leadership struggle in Jordan. And ABC News' Steve Osunsami tells us about the truths still being unearthed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, nearly 100 years after the "Black Wall Street" massacre. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
ABC News' "In Plain Sight" podcast. Lyndon Johnson has been talking about escaping the presidency almost since the day he took office. But finally, on March 31, 1968, he stuns the nation with an announcement that he won't seek reelection that fall. This episode presents a beat-by-beat account of the day, through Lady Bird's perspective -- it's a moment she's been planning with Lyndon for four years. But there's just a brief bit of relief following Lyndon's speech. Just four days later, Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, and violence erupts across the nation. Riots rock Washington, DC. Both Lyndon and Lady Bird seem besieged in the aftermath of this tragedy: neither attends the funeral for Dr. King in Atlanta, ceding it to a constellation of '60s stars like Stevie Wonder, Harry Belafonte, and Diana Ross, as well as members of congress, and presidential candidates. http://abcn.ws/ladybird
ABC News' "Soul of a Nation: Tulsa's Buried Truth" podcast. One of the most brutal and rarely discussed racially motivated attacks in American history occurred in 1921 when a violent white mob descended on a prosperous Black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, known as Black Wall Street. In less than 24 hours they destroyed and terrorized the neighborhood, killing as many as 300 Black Americans. The collective memory of the massacre was buried by a culture of silence and many victims' bodies were never found. But now one century later, the possibility of mass graves buried beneath Tulsa has led to a renewed search for answers. Featuring archival audio accounts from witnesses and interviews with historians, "Tulsa's Buried Truth" brings listeners through the painful history and into the modern-day quest for closure and healing. https://bit.ly/3sxIeWR
ABC News' "Soul of a Nation" series. The six-episode, primetime series presents viewers with a unique window into authentic realities of Black life and dives deeper into this critical moment of racial reckoning. As the country grapples with the Derek Chauvin trial, an all-new episode delves into America's New Reconstruction -- can the Black community turn pain into promise, prosperity and power? The episode looks back at the Tulsa Race Massacre nearly 100 years later, features the unseen Black men who have been sentenced to death row and examines the racial reckoning in present-day America which some call "the third reconstruction." "Soul of a Nation" airs Tuesday night on ABC. Episodes can also be viewed the next day on demand and on Hulu. https://abcn.ws/3up4l2g
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