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With Biden abroad, the domestic political news cycle kept churning

First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
Image: Joe Manchin
Joe Manchin talks to his staff on the Senate subway after working behind closed doors with other Democrats in a basement room at the Capitol on June 16, 2021.J. Scott Applewhite / AP

WASHINGTON — While so much of the political world’s attention was fixed on Wednesday's summit between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, so much else happened in Washington and across the country on a busy day:

  • Sen Joe Manchin, D-W.V., released his counteroffer on voting protections, which some voting experts embraced (though it’s unclear how Manchin’s proposal could survive a GOP filibuster).
  • Twenty-one senators, including 11 Republicans, announced their support for a bipartisan framework on infrastructure, although we don’t have concrete word yet on how they’re paying for the increased spending.
  • Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said he’s “cautiously optimistic” on passing bipartisan police reform.
  • The House passed legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday, and President Biden will sign the bill into law later today. (Fourteen House Republicans voted against it, which also means that 195 of them voted for it.)
  • New York City Democrats engaged in their final debate ahead of the city’s June 22primary, with candidates sparring over police funding, policing and firearms.
  • And in Ohio, lawmakers expelled an indicted GOP state representative (and ex-speaker) over an alleged bribery scheme.

It was a busy — and pretty significant — Wednesday, even outside of what took place in Geneva.

Tweet of the day

Wrapping up the Biden-Putin talks

As for that summit in Geneva, NBC’s Shannon Pettypiece wraps up the Biden-versus-Putin meeting.

“President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he made it clear in his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the U.S. will act against Russia if it continues with behavior that harms America's interests — even as Washington keeps trying to find areas of common ground,” Pettypiece writes.

“Biden said in a news conference after the meeting that the tone was good and that the talks weren't conducted in a ‘hyperbolic atmosphere.’ He acknowledged that it will take time to know whether there will be any significant progress and that he wasn't confident that he had done anything to change Putin's behavior.”

Data Download: The numbers you need to know today

33,652,987: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 11,219 more than yesterday morning.)

604,192: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far, per the most recent data from NBC News. (That’s 319 more than yesterday morning.)

312,915,170: The number of vaccine doses administered in the U.S.

40.6 percent: The share of all Americans who are fully vaccinated, per NBC News.

54.6 percent: The share of all American adults over 18 who are fully vaccinated, per CDC.

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

Jonathan Allen asks what’s next for Putin after yesterday’s summit.

Here’s what both countries got from the U.S.-Russia meetings.

The science around questions of the origins of the coronavirus hasn’t changed. But the contours of the debate have.

A wave of internet outages caused brief disruptions on dozens of major websites overnight.

DOJ is dropping its lawsuit over John Bolton’s book, started during the Trump era.

And DOJ is also reversing two Trump-era rules that made it much harder to seek asylum.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he wants to finish the border wall — with private donations.

Matt Salmon is in for the GOP governor’s nod in Arizona.