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The left is livid over stalled voting rights bill. But did it ever have a chance?

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
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., walks up the steps of Capitol Hill on June 7, 2021.Susan Walsh / AP

WASHINGTON — Progressives are livid at Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V. — once again.

Civil-rights leaders are meeting with him today to express their displeasure. And they’re also planning a “Moral March” in his home state of West Virginia.

All over a bill — HR1/For the People Act — that doesn’t have 50 votes in the Senate, that President Biden hasn’t barnstormed the country for (like he has on infrastructure), and that doesn’t address the issue of state officials possibly subverting the vote count in future elections.

It’s hard to think of an issue where there’s been a bigger disconnect between the activist left and Democratic leadership, especially when Democrats have controlled both the White House and Congress.

And especially when HR4/the John Lewis Voting Rights Act has Manchin’s support and backing from at least one Senate Republican (Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska), though it’s unclear if there’s any other GOP support for the proposal.

HR1/the For the People Act was designed as a messaging bill that includes not only voting-rights protections — but also redistricting and campaign-finance reform.

And now Democrats have an activist base that’s upset and disappointed — over a bill that never had a chance for passage in a 50-50 Senate.

Blaming the homeowner’s alarm system, not the burglar

A new Senate report released this morning finds “profound intelligence and security failures” that contributed to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, NBC’s Ken Dilanian and Frank Thorp report.

But the report does not deal with the instigation for the attack or coordination between the attackers.

It’s akin to blaming the homeowner — or the homeowner’s alarm/security system.

Not the burglar who committed the crime.

Meet Virginia (and New Jersey)

It is Primary Day in Virginia, where Democrats will select their nominee for governor, as well as in New Jersey, where the GOP will decide who will face incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy in the fall.

The relatively sleepy Virginia contest offers Democratic primary voters a choice: Stay the course and nominate former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who’s the frontrunner?

Or go in a new history-making direction — by picking either former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy or state Sen. Jennifer McClellan, who would become the state’s (and country’s) first Black female governor.

Also vying for the nomination are current Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and state Del. Lee Carter.

The winner will face GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin, in what’s sure to be the marquee general election later this fall.

In New Jersey, the Republicans running to challenge Gov. Murphy in the fall are former state Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, businessman Hirsch Singh and pastor Phil Rizzo.

Murphy goes into the general election as the strong favorite.

Final poll places in Virginia close at 7:00 p.m. ET, and they close in New Jersey at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Tweet of the day

Data Download: The numbers you need to know today

33,542,314: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 14,453 more than yesterday morning.)

601,227: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far, per the most recent data from NBC News. (That’s 299 more than yesterday morning.)

302,851,917: The number of vaccine doses administered in the U.S.

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

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

Talking policy with Benjy

SCOTUS punts immigration to Congress again: For those who don’t follow immigration policy closely, a common question is why undocumented immigrants don’t simply “get in line” and apply for legal status. In fact, Donald Trump reportedly asked DREAMers the same thing before he ran for president.

The Supreme Court on Monday offered a reminder that for many residents, even some with legal permission to work in America, there is no “line” to get into. In a major case, the nine justices unanimously ruled against holders of Temporary Protected Status, making it nearly impossible for many to ever obtain a green card and citizenship without intervention from Congress.

TPS covers about 400,000 people from 12 countries, who are caught in a kind of legal limbo. They are migrants who are allowed to live and work in America because the federal government decided their home countries are too dangerous for them to return, either due to natural disaster or violence. Their status has to be renewed every 18 months, but many of them have lived in the U.S. for decades at this point and have spouses and/or children who are citizens.

Federal law bars people who crossed the border illegally from applying for a green card, however, which includes many TPS recipients and DACA recipients as well. The plaintiffs in the case argued that because they got TPS, they had effectively been “admitted” to the country as legal immigrants, making them eligible for a family member or employer to sponsor them for permanent residency. Both the Trump and Biden administrations disagreed, and the court sided with the government.

The ruling is especially significant because TPS recipients face a more precarious situation in the post-Trump world in which the GOP is more hostile toward both legal and illegal immigration. Trump sought to end TPS for over 300,000 people, but lost re-election before he could finish making them eligible for deportation.

“Like all things in immigration law, it is both arcane and also high stakes,” Michel Kagan, Director of the UNLV Immigration Clinic, said of Monday’s ruling. “It leaves people legally here and able to work, but with a very uncertain future, in perpetuity. It constantly depends on the will of the president.”

Congress could address the situation. The 2013 immigration reform bill that passed the Senate – but not the House – would have granted TPS recipients a path to citizenship, and they’re likely near the front of the line if any immigration legislation advances this year, potentially through reconciliation. But a bill is an uphill climb and the Democratic majority is precarious in 2022 and beyond. It may be a long time before their situation is resolved one way or another.

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

A massive outage has taken major websites offline, including the New York Times and CNN.

In Guatemala, Kamala Harris warned potential migrants: “Do not come.”

The Biden administration will outline its plan to address supply chain issues.

Senate Democrats are moving to confirm a slate of Biden’s judges as they seek to counter Trump’s stamp on the judiciary.

Biden’s Justice Department is defending Trump in a defamation lawsuit.

Some of the Republican governors who are cutting unemployment aid have ties to businesses that could benefit from the move.

Ron DeSantis is raising a lot of money.