The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Georgia ruffles feathers with sweeping voting restrictions


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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Georgia passes sweeping elections bill with voting restrictions | Voting rights groups sue | Biden not asked about COVID during first presser | Five takeaways | Trump appears on Fox News to rebut Biden claims | Says Jan. 6 rioters posed ‘zero threat’ | Dolphins spotted in NY’s East River (!)



It is now illegal to give you a bottle of water while in line to vote in Georgia: 

Yesterday, Georgia Republicans passed a big elections bill that includes new voting restrictions. https://cnn.it/39io7V8 

The gist of the bill: “The new law imposes new voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, empowers state officials to take over local elections boards, limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it a crime to approach voters in line to give them food and water.”

What happened yesterday — it all happened pretty quickly: “The bill passed both chambers of the legislature in the span of a few hours before Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed it Thursday evening.” 

More from CNNhttps://cnn.it/39io7V8

Read the 95-page Georgia billhttps://bit.ly/2QHZV8j

Unsurprisingly, this bill has been hit with a jab-cross-hook-uppercut:

Via The Hill’s John Kruzel, “Voting rights groups on Thursday night filed a lawsuit just hours after Georgia enacted a Republican-crafted law that gives state lawmakers more power over elections and imposes a raft of new voting restrictions.” https://bit.ly/39ir2x4 

Read the 35-page lawsuit, if you’re into that kinda thinghttps://bit.ly/3tUbg3m


Via CNN’s Pamela Kirkland, Dianne Gallagher and Caroline Kelly, Georgia state Rep. Park Cannon was arrested at the Georgia Capitol while protesting the state’s new election law. https://cnn.it/3dfbNGy 

Video — it has more than 1.2 million views already


Georgia lawmaker arrested




  1. It creates a voter ID requirement for absentee voting
  2. It limits the use of ballot drop boxes
  3. It gives state lawmakers sweeping control over elections
  4. It shortens the timeframe for runoff elections and ends the “jungle primary” system for special elections
  5. It expands weekend early voting, but cuts short the deadline for request absentee ballots 

Context and details for each from The Hill’s Max Greenwoodhttps://bit.ly/3tWeDXt

Happy Friday! Fun fact: The Fourth of July is 100 days away! I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to cmartel@thehill.com — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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It's time to update internet regulations



The internet has changed a lot in the 25 years since lawmakers last passed comprehensive internet regulations. It’s time for an update. 

See how we’re making progress on key issues and why we support updated regulations to set clear rules for addressing today’s toughest challenges.



But what … about the … you know … white elephant in the room … for … you know … THE PAST YEAR?:

Via The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant, President BidenJoe BidenHouse panel approves bill to set up commission on reparations Democrats to offer bill to expand Supreme Court Former Israeli prime minister advises Iran to 'cool down' amid nuclear threats MORE wasn’t asked a single question about the COVID-19 pandemic during his first press conference of his presidency. https://bit.ly/3fgdsOp

Was COVID mentioned at all?: Biden did begin the press conference by announcing his new goal of 200 million vaccine doses in the first 100 days in office and a new $10 billion initiative to distribute the vaccine in rural areas. 

^ But no reporters followed up or asked anything related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

What Biden *was* asked about: “Biden took questions from 10 reporters on the filibuster, bipartisanship, withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, his plans to run for reelection and China. The surge of migrants at the southern border was the most popular topic.” 

Why that’s interesting: “The lack of focus on the pandemic shows how the press’s attention is shifting from the health crisis to other issues, notably immigration and the filibuster.”




  1. The presser was dominated by the border
  2. Biden’s patience wearing thin on filibuster
  3. He doesn’t see himself as a one-termer — more on that: https://bit.ly/3ffKCxK
  4. GOP’s proposed voting restrictions irk Biden
  5. No major gaffes in first press conference

Context and details for each from The Hill’s Jonathan Easley, Brett Samuels and Morgan Chalfanthttps://bit.ly/3coUZO3


President Biden holds a press conference


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3tZLPx8


Never met a spotlight I didn’t like:

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances Race debate grips Congress US reentry to Paris agreement adds momentum to cities' sustainability efforts MORE appeared on Fox News’s "The Ingraham Angle" last night in response to President Biden’s news conference.


On Biden’s claim that Trump let children ‘starve to death and stay on the other side’ "If young kids were with parents, but a lot of times, they weren't, and we would take care of them, but ... what they are doing now is outrageous. And they should finish the wall." Trump’s full responsehttps://fxn.ws/3cmN6II

Trump says the Jan. 6 Capitol rioters didn’t pose a threat: “It was zero threat. Right from the start, it was zero threat,” Trump said. “Look, they went in — they shouldn’t have done it — some of them went in, and they’re hugging and kissing the police and the guards, you know? They had great relationships. A lot of the people were waved in, and then they walked in, and they walked out.” https://politi.co/3d3z1PG

Trump is still bringing up false election claims: “Ingraham awkwardly tried to cut off Trump’s false election claims—likely wanting to avoid legal action like her other Fox News colleagues—and said ‘we are not going to re-litigate the past tonight.’”  More from Forbeshttps://bit.ly/3w0gtbG

On the questions Biden was asked by reporters: “Well, they were strange questions and they were asked in a very interesting way. It was like softballs, like you’re throwing softballs up. And it’s just a different world, nobody’s seen anything like it.” https://bit.ly/2NXUUaE 

*Looks around* — psssst, we know


Trump says he did opposite of Fauci


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3lTmBOg


Happening today — no fighting, there’s enough of the border for you guys to share:

Via CNN’s Daniella Diaz, “Two separate groups of lawmakers are traveling to Texas on Friday to spotlight the surge of unaccompanied children crossing the US-Mexico border in recent weeks.” https://cnn.it/3tTIq32

And if you’ll kindly turn to your right: “Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas are leading a delegation of 17 Republican senators on Friday to tour a US Customs and Border Protection facility in Donna, Texas, that is reportedly overwhelmed with the number of unaccompanied minors.”

And now, ladies and gentlemen, please turn your attention to your left: “Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas is leading a group of six Democratic House members to a Health and Human Services facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas.”


Case numbers:

Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 30,090,221 

U.S. death toll: 546,915 

Breakdown of the numbershttps://cnn.it/2UAgW3y


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 133 million shots have been given.

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 2.51 million doses

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million. 

Breakdown of the numbers: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH



Internet regulations need an update



It’s been 25 years since comprehensive internet regulations passed. But a lot has changed since 1996. 

See how we’re taking action and why we support updated regulations to address today’s challenges — protecting privacy, fighting misinformation, reforming Section 230, and more.




Mahty Walsh can’t get his usual Dunks medium regulah!:

Via The Hill’s Alex Gangitano, Newly confirmed Labor Secretary Marty WalshMarty WalshNew Boston Mayor Kim Janey: 'We cannot go back to normal' on racial equity Biden taps California workplace safety leader to head up OSHA The Hill's 12:30 Report - Biden touts big jobs report MORE made his first appearance in his new role yesterday, visiting a preschool and child care center in Washington, D.C., to promote the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. More from the eventhttps://bit.ly/2P0jCI1

^By the way: That is Sec. Walsh’s usual Dunkin order: A medium regular coffee — that comes with three creams and three sugars.

This is adorable:


Labor Secretary Walsh at a public event



So, boys and girls, there was a big, scary monster called the coronavirus. Mr. Joe came in and said, let’s take down this monster with $1.9 trillion. And we’ll give your mommies and daddies $1,400 to help them out.

^Lol, I tried. I mean, how would you describe the COVID relief package in a children’s storybook? Let me know! It'll give me some entertainment for my Friday afternoon.


Getting traction — wow, relatable:


No more passwords


Hyperlink https://bit.ly/3fiCZ9F 


The House is in. The Senate is out. President Biden is in Washington, D.C,. and will head to Wilmington, Del., this evening. Vice President Harris is in Connecticut today. 

9:30 a.m. EDT: Vice President Harris ceremonially swore in Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraOvernight Health Care: CDC director calls on Michigan to 'close things down' amid surge in cases | Regeneron says antibody therapy prevents COVID-19 infections HHS expands Medicaid postpartum coverage for Illinois mothers up to a year after giving birth Over 500,000 people sign up for ObamaCare in special sign-up period MORE as Secretary of Health and Human Services and Shalanda Young as Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

10:20 a.m. EDT: President Biden and Vice President Harris received the President’s Daily Brief. 

10:30 a.m. ­– 12:45 p.m. EDT: First and last votes in the House. The House’s full agenda todayhttps://bit.ly/3eWjSlN

11:50 a.m. EDT: Vice President Harris left Washington, D.C., en route to New Haven, Conn.

2:10 p.m. EDT: President Biden receives his weekly economic briefing. 

2:35 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris holds a listening session on the American Rescue Plan. 

3 p.m. EDT: President Biden participates in a virtual fundraiser for Mayor Keisha Lance BottomsKeisha Lance BottomsAtlanta mayor issues order to expand ballot access Chelsea Clinton gets her own podcast Biden: Georgia law is 'Jim Crow in the 21st century' MORE

6:15 p.m. EDT: President Biden leaves for Wilmington, Del.

6:45 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris returns to Washington, D.C.

April 12: The next time the Senate meets. The Senate’s full upcoming agendahttps://bit.ly/3dctvdo


10:15 a.m. EDT: The White House COVID Response Team held a press briefing. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3fhkZws

12:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOfficer who fatally shot Daunte Wright released on 0K bail Iran supreme leader dismisses Vienna talks on nuclear deal as 'not worth looking at' Indirect talks with Iran over nuclear deal to resume Thursday MORE holds a press briefing. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/39dXroj 

4:35 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris visits the West Haven Child Development Center and delivers remarks. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3w02i6s


Today is National Spinach Day. Tomorrow is World Whiskey Day and Sunday is National Black Forest Cake Day!

Maybe the dolphins don’t know. Should we tell them?:

Via The Guardian, dolphins have been spotted in New York’s famously polluted East River. https://bit.ly/3skQc5H 

Why this is pretty cool: “Despite the prominent belief that the East River remains very hazardous, a 2017 report by the NYC department of environmental protection found that the city’s rivers and harbors were the cleanest they have been since the American civil war.” 

Video of New York’s newest celebs


Dolphins in the East River


Watch: https://bit.ly/3lS2lMU 

And here’s another videohttps://bit.ly/2PtCpv1

I can’t believe I’m jealous of a swatch of fabric:

Via The Associated Press’s Marcia Dunn, a small piece of the Wright brothers’ first airplane was attached to NASA’s Mars helicopter and has arrived at the red planet.  

The full storyhttps://bit.ly/3srvIbA

And to get your weekend off to the right start, here’s a dog who is NOT PLEASED about being forgotten for its walk: https://bit.ly/3tWBaU1