A1: The stories you need to read before your first conference call.
-- Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced her support for same-sex marriage, making her the fourth sitting Republican senator to do so. Collins, who is up for reelection, joins three other Republican senators who publicly support gay marriage: Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Rob Portman (Ohio) and Mark Kirk (Ill.). (Washington Post, Bangor Daily News)
-- The first session of Iraq's newly elected parliament will be held July 1. It will mark the start of what is expected to be a challenging process of forming a new government against the backdrop of sectarian violence. (Washington Post)
-- Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), a longtime immigration reform advocate, declared Wednesday that immigration reform in the House is "over" because Republicans are blocking legislation from coming to a vote. "Nothing's going to happen," he said in an interview. "My point of view is, this is over. There's no reason to continue to wait. Every day, 1,000 people get deported. The president should stop deportations. There's no reason to wait." (Washington Post) Democratic leaders will hold a press conference today to mark the one-year anniversary of the Senate passing a sweeping reform bill.
-- Federal judges ruled against gay marriage bans in Utah and Indiana on Wednesday, handing at least temporary victories to gay rights advocates. (Washington Post)
National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.
-- WH'16: Former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R) plans to host a Tampa fundraiser on Sept. 23 for at least four GOP U.S. Senate candidates: Rep. Cory Gardner (Colo.), Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst, Rep. Tom Cotton (Ark.), and Oregon surgeon nominee Monica Wehby. (Wall Street Journal)
-- New York: Democrats could be in full control of state government next year, following the decision by a group of rogue Democratic legislators who had entered into a power sharing agreement with Republicans to reunite with their party. The new arrangement was put together in part by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D). (New York Times)
-- Mississippi: Losing U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel (R) isn't ready to throw in the towel against Sen. Thad Cochran (R) just yet. In a Wednesday statement, McDaniel said, "In the coming days, our team will look into the irregularities to determine whether a challenge is warranted."
-- Texas: Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wendy Davis's filibuster against antiabortion legislation, which put her on the national radar. She marked the occasion by seeking to move beyond the abortion debate -- as she has throughout her campaign -- to a broader critique of Republican leaders in Texas. She cast those Republicans as “insiders." (Texas Tribune)
-- Arkansas: A day after he was quoted saying Hillary Rodham Clinton might "get shot" in Arkansas if she ran for president, 2nd District GOP Chairman Johnny Rhoda resigned. (Arkansas Online)
DC Digest: What's on tap today in DC.
-- President Obama heads to Minneapolis, where he will hold a town hall and attend a DCCC fundraiser.
-- Vice President Biden will attend the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony for Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Capitol.
-- The House will meet at 9 a.m. It will consider the Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act.
-- The Senate will meet at 9:30 a.m. At 12:30, it will move to a cloture vote on the nomination of Cheryl Ann Krause to be United States Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit.
TV Time Out: Our exclusive look at who's advertising, and where.
-- The GOP group Crossroads GPS is up with two new issue ads in the Colorado Senate race. One touts Rep. Cory Gardner (R) on energy, the other hits Sen. Mark Udall (D) on environmental matters. Total buy size:: $430,000.
The Buried Lede: The nuggets that deserve the spotlight.
-- South Dakota Democrats are going with an all-female ticket for governor. Democratic nominee Susan Wismer tapped former state lawmaker Susy Blake as her running mate. (Sioux Falls Argus Leader)
B1: Business, politics and the business of politics
-- And then there were two. Dallas and Cleveland are the finalists to host the 2016 Republican National Convention. Sorry, Denver and Kansas City. You didn't make the cut. (Dallas Morning News)
C1: The long reads you'll need to check out before tonight's cocktail party.
-- Attorney General Eric Holder has no shortage of Republican critics. And he's been at the center of controversy many times. So how he still in his post? Glenn Thrush explores: "To start, it helps that he is one of the few administration figures to cross the threshold from employee to friend of the famously reserved president. Holder, in fact, is one of the only Cabinet members Obama routinely invites over for dinner and drinks (Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a hoops buddy from Chicago, is another) and the only one who times his summer vacation to hang out with the president on Martha’s Vineyard. Their wives are even closer, and Michelle Obama is a not infrequent drop-in guest for Friday pizza night at Holder’s house." (Politico Magazine)
C4: The comics page, fun things to read when you're bored at work
-- Something tells us that many more people will take sick days today than usual, with the U.S. playing Germany in the World Cup at noon. Here's a full rundown of places you can go watch the game. (Washington Post)
-- The "super PAC" turn 4 today. (Center for Public Integrity)
Attn Matt Drudge: Things conservatives will get outraged by today.
-- The group New Approach Oregon says it will submit 145,000 signatures today for their initiative to legalize marijuana in Oregon. The group says it is confident it will make the November ballot. (Oregonian)
Attn HuffPo: What outrages liberals today
-- We Energies' Wisconsin Gas utility has been approved to build a more than 80-mile fracking pipeline in western Wisconsin. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)