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Manchin says he won't vote for Democrats' sweeping election reform bill

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) wrote in a Charleston Gazette-Mail op-ed Sunday that he will not support congressional Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill, suggesting the measure is partisan.

Why it matters: Manchin's opposition to H.R. 1, known as the For the People Act, puts the bill in tenuous footing in the evenly split Senate. The West Virginia senator said any elections-related legislation should be the result of both parties coming together.


  • “I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening blinds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For The People Act," Manchin wrote.
  • "The truth, I would argue, is that voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen."

Flashback: The House passed the For the People Act in a 220-210 in March with no Republican support, it now awaits a vote in the Senate.

  • The bill's reforms include allowing voters to register securely online or on Election Day, and preventing voter purges from registration records. It would also restore voting rights for felons, expand early and absentee voting and set national standards for early voting and registration.

Manchin said he would support another reform bill, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would effectively reinstate key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that were gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013.

  • "I continue to engage with my Republican and Democratic colleagues about the value of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and I am encouraged by the desire from both sides to transcend partisan politics and strengthen our democracy by protecting voting rights."

Worth noting: Manchin reiterated that he won't support eliminating the fillibuster, and said some Democrats have tried "to demonize the filibuster and conveniently ignore how it has been critical to protecting the rights of Democrats in the past."

Go deeper: Progressive groups press Senate Democrats to abolish filibuster

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

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Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

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Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

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Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

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"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

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What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

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