Biden to sign bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday

President Joe Biden on Thursday afternoon will sign into law the bill that makes Juneteenth a federal holiday, according to his official schedule. The Juneteenth National Independence Day Act moved through Congress this week, with the House and Senate both passing it just days before the holiday, which falls on Saturday. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, commemorates the day that news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas in 1865. Although Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became effective Jan. 1, 1863, some holders of enslaved people didn’t give them the message that they were free. On June 19, 1865, Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger brought the news to Galveston – and told the locals to get with the program.

Bipartisan infrastructure bill continues to gain momentum

A bipartisan deal on infrastructure may continue to garner support Thursday, a day after 10 senators endorsed the framework of a $1.2 trillion proposal. The bipartisan proposal now has the backing of a significant group of centrist lawmakers – 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats – and has emerged as the best opportunity for President Joe Biden to reach a broad deal with Congress on a sweeping plan to modernize America’s deteriorating transportation systems. Many details of the proposal have not been released, but it would not include “soft” infrastructure such as climate change and housing, which Biden had called for in his original $2.25 trillion American Jobs Act. Democratic senators who support the infrastructure framework briefed White House officials on the proposal Wednesday. White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates called the briefing “productive and encouraging.” 

After previous confusion, California to loosen worksite pandemic rules

California regulators on Thursday are set to approve revised worksite pandemic rules that allow fully vaccinated employees the same freedoms as when they are off the job. The revised regulations would conform with general state guidelines that took effect Tuesday by ending most mask rules for people who are vaccinated against the coronavirus. “If there’s any ambiguity, if there’s concerns around enforcement, we’ll clarify that. I have a draft executive order ready to go immediately after they vote to make clarifications public and to provide more certainty,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said. The move comes after the board did a double-twisting backflip in recent weeks when it first postponed, then rejected, then adopted, then rescinded proposed rules that would have allowed workers to forego masks only if every employee in a room was fully vaccinated. The state effectively reopened Tuesday, ending a slew of 15-month restrictions to stem the pandemic.

US Open set to tee off in Southern California

Bryson DeChambeau, eight-time PGA Tour winner and defending U.S. Open champion, will tee it up alongside U.S. Amateur champion Tyler Strafaci and Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama in the first two rounds of the 121st U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego this week. The betting favorite, John Rahm, is scheduled to begin his round in the late afternoon. The South Course plays host to the national championship for the first time since Tiger Woods’ epic win with a broken leg in 2008. The South Course is also known for its wild rough, which 2015 U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth described as “wicked.” 

First part of Kardashian reunion to air

“Keeping up with the Kardashians” may have ended last week, but E! will begin airing its two part reunion with the cast Thursday night. The show aired for 14 years and followed the Kardashian clan through marriages, kids, divorces and plenty of drama. In the show’s finale, fans saw Kim Kardashian-West open up to her former “momager” Kris Jenner about her divorce from Kanye West. The reunion, hosted by Andy Cohen, is also expected to address topics like the possibility of Kourtney and the father of her kids, Scott Disick, getting back together. The first part of the reunion will air Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on E!.

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