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Daily Political Briefing July 6, 2021Updated  July 6, 2021, 10:59 a.m. ET July 6, 2021,

Daily Political Briefing

July 6, 2021, 10:59 a.m. ET

July 6, 2021, 10:59 a.m. ET

President Biden’s appearances around the country are intended to build public support for his proposals and to increase pressure on lawmakers.
Credit…Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times

President Biden will turn his attention past his bipartisan infrastructure plan when he travels to a Chicago suburb this week to try to sell the virtues of spending $1.8 trillion to expand access to education, reduce the cost of child care and support women in the work force as part of his American Families Plan.

Republicans vigorously oppose the proposal, which would be financed by new taxes on the wealthy. Mr. Biden has indicated his willingness to pass the ambitious social spending plan in the Senate with only Democratic votes by using the fast-track budget reconciliation process.

White House officials said the president would make a speech at a college in Crystal Lake, Ill., on Wednesday “highlighting the benefits the American Families Plan will deliver for working families across the country.”

But his hope for a legacy-making victory depends on successfully navigating delicate ideological roadblocks in both parties on Capitol Hill.

Moderate Democrats like Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia have signaled their uneasiness with the size of the American Families Plan, even as progressives like Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, are pushing to spend more than $6 trillion to expand social programs to benefit working Americans and the poor.

Republicans who have signed on to Mr. Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan — making it the signature piece of bipartisan legislation endorsed by the White House — oppose the broader social spending, calling it too costly and saying the tax increases are unwise.

That leaves the president and his allies on Capitol Hill little wiggle room as they prepare to negotiate spending proposals of a scale that has been unheard-of in recent decades.

For Mr. Biden, the negotiations will include a regular series of appearances around the country intended to build public support for his proposals and to increase pressure on lawmakers by demonstrating that Americans are eager for the benefits that would be created amid the coronavirus pandemic.

White House officials provided few details about the president’s upcoming speech in Illinois; he opened his summertime road show last week by traveling to La Crosse, Wis., to promote the benefits of the bipartisan infrastructure spending.

“This is a generational investment to modernize our infrastructure,” Mr. Biden said, comparing it to President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s creation of the interstate highway system and saying his new plan would succeed in “creating millions of good-paying jobs.”

That suggests that the White House intends for the president to be a cheerleader for both the bipartisan infrastructure plan and the Families Plan supported by Democrats with speeches delivered around the country.

Mr. Biden will also continue to focus his efforts this week on vaccinating the country. He is scheduled to deliver remarks on Tuesday about the latest efforts against the spread of the coronavirus, including the highly contagious Delta variant that is gaining traction worldwide.

That speech will be two days after the country celebrated the Fourth of July and Mr. Biden hosted the largest planned event of his presidency at the White House — a sign that the United States is emerging from its pandemic isolation despite failing to reach the administration’s goal of having 70 percent of adults at least partly vaccinated by Independence Day.

The Blackfeet Indian Reservation in northern Montana is roughly the size of Delaware, but had only four ballot drop-off locations last year.
Credit…Tailyr Irvine for The New York Times

It has been less than a century since Native Americans in the United States gained the right to vote by law, and they never attained the ability to do so easily in practice. New restrictions — ballot collection bans, earlier registration deadlines, stricter voter ID laws and more — are likely to make it harder, and the starkest consequences may be seen in places like Montana: sprawling, sparsely populated Western and Great Plains states where Native Americans have a history of playing decisive roles in close elections.

In recent years, Republicans in several states have passed laws imposing requirements that Native Americans are disproportionately unlikely to meet or targeting voting methods they are disproportionately likely to use, such as ballot collection, which is common in communities where transportation and other infrastructure are limited. They say ballot collection can enable election fraud or allow advocacy groups to influence votes, though there is no evidence of widespread fraud.

Geography, poverty and politics all create obstacles for Native Americans. The Blackfeet Indian Reservation, which abuts the Canadian border, is roughly the size of Delaware but had only two election offices and four ballot drop-off locations last year, one of which was listed as open for just 14 hours over two days. Many other reservations in Montana have no polling places, meaning residents must go to the county seat to vote, and many don’t have cars or can’t afford to take time off.

Hamid Karzai International Airport is crucial to the United States and allied countries maintaining a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan.
Credit…Massoud Hossaini/Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — For years, Hamid Karzai International Airport has been a main gateway to Afghanistan, an aspirational symbol of civilian life and normalcy amid military bases, warplanes and the scars of decades of fighting in the surrounding countryside.

But now the airport, known to all as Kabul International, has become the last stand in America’s 20-year campaign in Afghanistan.

The importance of the strip of tarmac, radars and terminals, surrounded by the ring of mountains that define the capital city, cannot be overstated. Beyond its strategic importance for maintaining embassy operations and having an evacuation route for diplomats and the forces protecting them, the airport is the gateway to Afghanistan for workers from international aid groups and other nongovernmental organizations and health care providers that remain vital in a nation long reliant on foreign assistance to provide basic services.

“Security at the airport in whatever form or fashion it takes will be important, not only for the United States, but for any other nation that likewise plans to maintain a diplomatic presence in Kabul,” the Pentagon spokesman, John F. Kirby, said in an interview.

If the United States and its allies can complete a deal for Turkey to keep forces in place to secure the airport, President Biden can go ahead with his plan to maintain the American Embassy — and diplomatic missions from allied countries — even after combat troops for the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization depart.

If not, senior American and NATO officials said, the consequences could be substantial: Mr. Biden’s plans to try to retain a diplomatic presence in the country, as part of an international effort seeking to prevent a return to the grim Taliban-controlled era of the past, will most likely be cast aside, and access to the country by aid groups could be cut off.

Turkey for its own reasons wants to retain a presence in Afghanistan, where it has a long affiliation, and a shared history and religion as well as an economic stake. As a Muslim-majority nation and a member of the Atlantic alliance, Turkey has played a consistent role in Afghanistan since 2001, including sending troops in noncombat roles. It currently has about 600 service members in Afghanistan, where its main mission has been providing security for the airport.

Military planners and intelligence analysts say the growing strength of the Taliban and planned withdrawal of international combat troops mean that the Afghan government was likely to fall in six months to two years. And while it is not clear that the Taliban would want to completely shut down the airport and isolate the country if they take full control of Afghanistan, the group has signaled that it will not accept the presence of any foreign troops, even from Turkey.

Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona has referred to President Biden as a “fraudulent usurper,” and he was the keynote speaker at a conference hosted by the white nationalist group America First in February.
Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Nick Fuentes, the leader of a white nationalist group, was bemoaning the political persecution he said he was facing from the federal government when he paused during a recent livestream to praise one of his few defenders.

“There is some hope, maybe, for America First in Congress,” Mr. Fuentes said, referring to the name of his movement, a group that aims to preserve white, Christian identity and culture. “And that is thanks to — almost exclusively — to Representative Paul Gosar.”

Mr. Gosar, a five-term Republican and dentist from Prescott, Ariz., emerged this year as a vociferous backer of the “Stop the Steal” movement that falsely claimed that former President Donald J. Trump won the 2020 election and spearheaded the rally in Washington on Jan. 6 that led to the deadly Capitol riot.

But Mr. Gosar’s ties to racists like Mr. Fuentes and America First, as well as similar far-right fringe organizations and activists, have been less scrutinized. A review of public comments and social media posts suggest that in Mr. Gosar, they have found an ally and advocate in Congress.

His unapologetic association with them is perhaps the most vivid example of the Republican Party’s growing acceptance of extremism, which has become apparent as more lawmakers espouse and amplify conspiracy theories and far-right ideologies that figure prominently in the belief systems of fringe groups.

Mr. Gosar has appeared at rallies across the country referring to President Biden as a “fraudulent usurper,” and called efforts to seat him “sedition” and a “coup.” Last week, Mr. Gosar came under scrutiny after a social media channel associated with Mr. Fuentes advertised an upcoming fund-raiser featuring both men. And in a recent fund-raising solicitation, he spread a groundless conspiracy theory that the F.B.I. may have been behind the Jan. 6 attack.

The statements and actions have not resulted in any punishment from House Republican leaders, who have largely declined to publicly reprimand those in their conference who espouse fringe beliefs or peddle misinformation. Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the majority leader, told The Washington Post last week that Mr. Gosar had told him that the advertised fund-raiser was “not real.”

Mr. Fuentes, a 22-year-old white nationalist, online provocateur and activist who leads the America First movement, boasts the kind of résumé that most members of Congress would run from. Having marched at both the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 and outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6., he has warned that the nation is losing “its white demographic core.” Other conservative organizations have denounced him as a Holocaust denier and a racist.

Mr. Gosar has continued to associate with him.

Hundreds of companies around the world are reeling after a software provider to small and midsize businesses was hit last week by a major cyberattack. Russian cybercriminals are suspected of orchestrating what some experts are calling a “global supply chain hack.”

The Swedish grocery chain Coop had to close at least 800 stores on Saturday, while a pharmacy chain and 11 schools in New Zealand were also affected. Linking all of them was Kaseya, which makes systems management software that was in the middle of performing updates to guard against such an attack. Although Kaseya said that fewer than 40 customers had been affected, that group serviced hundreds of others, amplifying the effect.

Some companies were asked for as much as $5 million to regain control of their data, about $70 million in total.

REvil, which was accused of orchestrating an attack on the meat processor JBS in May, was identified as a likely culprit. President Biden confronted President Vladimir Putin of Russia last month over Moscow’s ties to cybercrime, but over the weekend, he said “The initial thinking was it was not the Russian government, but we’re not sure yet.”

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