In our news wrap Friday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a federal lawsuit against Georgia's new election law, which he says denies equal access to Black voters. Republicans charged that President Joe Biden reneged on the $953 billion infrastructure compromise after he announced it. Vice President Kamala Harris visited the U.S. southern border for the first time since taking office.
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In the day's other news: Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is now facing 22.5 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd. The 45-year-old Chauvin was sentenced today in state court. He still faces a federal trial on charges that he violated Floyd's civil rights.
We will return to this later in the program.
The U.S. Justice Department has gone to court, charging that Georgia's new election law denies equal access to Black voters. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a federal lawsuit today. He said that officials are also analyzing similar laws being passed in Republican-led states that tighten voting rules.
Merrick Garland, U.S. Attorney General:
This lawsuit is the first of many steps we are taking to ensure that all eligible voters can cast a vote, that all lawful votes are counted, and that every voter has access to accurate information.
Georgia's Republican governor, Brian Kemp, accused the Biden administration of pushing — quote — "lies and misinformation."
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that Alaska Natives are eligible for federal pandemic relief funds. Some $8 billion has been earmarked for tribal governments. The court found Alaskan Native corporations do qualify as Indian tribes. They provide benefits and services to more than 100,000 people.
A bipartisan infrastructure deal has hit a serious road hazard. Republicans doubled down today on charges that President Biden reneged on the nearly $1 trillion compromise after he announced it. That is because he insisted he won't sign anything unless Congress also passes his other priorities, worth $6 trillion.
The White House says that Mr. Biden always made clear that he wants both bills.
Vice President Harris visited the U.S. Southern border today for the first time since taking office. She is overseeing the migrant issue, and has drawn criticism for not going to the border sooner. Today, she toured a Border Patrol facility in El Paso, Texas. Later, she argued that the problem are about much more than politics.
Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States: We're talking about children, we're talking about families, we're talking about suffering, and our approach has to be thoughtful and effective.
And we can take all of these perspectives into account and have meaningful, good public policy, if we just stop the rhetoric and the finger-pointing and do what we need to do.
Also today, Reuters reported more than one million arrests of migrants at the border since last October. At that pace, the tally for this fiscal year will be the most since 2000.
President Biden marked Pride Month with initiatives on LGBTQ rights today. He named a special diplomatic envoy on the issue, and he signed a bill designating the Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, as a national memorial; 49 people died there in a mass shooting in 2016.
Congress has approved reinstating limits on methane emissions from oil and gas drilling. Democrats pushed it through the U.S. House of Representatives today. It overturns President Trump's rollback of a 2016 regulation. President Biden is expected to sign the measure.
A record-breaking heat wave gripped the Pacific Northwest today. Washington state and Oregon could see temperatures 30 degrees above normal this weekend, including 100 in Seattle and 108 in Portland. Many in the region lack air conditioning because summers there are usually mild.
And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 237 points to close at 34433. The Nasdaq fell nine points. The S&P 500 was up 14. For the week, the Dow gained nearly 3.5 percent. The Nasdaq rose 2 percent, and the S&P 500 added 2.7 percent.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": the withdrawal of U.S. troops paints a grim and uncertain future for Afghanistan; what Derek Chauvin's sentencing means for this moment of racial reckoning; the Pentagon releases a long-awaited report on unidentified aerial phenomenon; and more.