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Biden officials invite union and business groups to the White House

Biden administration officials are inviting labor and business groups to the White House on Friday to strategize on how to pass the $579 bipartisan infrastructure deal, according to an administration official.

Why it matters: By welcoming groups as disparate as the Chamber of Commerce and the Ironworkers, top White House officials Anita Dunn and Cedric Richmond are working to build a broad coalition to ensure the bipartisan agreement for “hard” infrastructure becomes law.

  • Dunn and Richmond will update the groups on the general timing for the Senate to consider the deal and stress the importance of the organization’s support for the package.
  • The agreement could fall apart over concerns of how to fund some of the new spending, with some Republicans now balking at additional money for Internal Revenue Service enforcement.

Driving the news: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) surprised lawmakers Thursday morning when he outlined an ambitious timeline for the bipartisan infrastructure proposal, which would move toward floor action next week.

  • The bipartisan group of 10 negotiators huddled for hours Thursday afternoon and were joined by White House officials Steve Ricchetti, Brian Deese and Louisa Terrell.
  • Democratic and Republican negotiators have a variety of challenges ahead of them, with concerns over how to pay for bill and keep Republicans from defecting.

Go deeper: In additional to the Chamber, the private sector will be represented by Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Outdoor Industry Association, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, the American Clean Power Association, the National Retail Federation and the Zero Emission Transportation Association

  • The union side will also be represented by Sheet Metal Workers International Association, United Steelworkers and Transportation Trades Department (TTD).
  • Last week, the Chamber and the AFL-CIO announced a coalition of groups — from manufacturing — to retail that will band together for passage of the infrastructure package.

Least persuadable unvaccinated Americans are largely white and Republican

Data: Axios-Ipsos Poll; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The most hardcore opponents of coronavirus vaccination — the group who say they'll never get one — tend to be older, whiter and more Republican than the unvaccinated Americans who are still persuadable, according to an analysis of our Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: As the Delta variant triggers more COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, mostly among the unvaccinated, the Biden administration and even some high-profile GOP political and media figures are trying to figure out how to nudge the country's vaccination rate higher.

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Female Olympians push back against double standard in uniforms

Female Olympians in Tokyo are rejecting the uniforms that have long defined their sports, highlighting a double standard that exists how women dress in competition vs. men.

Driving the news: During their qualifying round Sunday, Germany's women's gymnastics team wore full-length unitards, eschewing the conventional leg-barring leotards worn by most female gymnasts.

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Simone Biles won't defend Olympic title at gymnastics all-around final in Tokyo

U.S. gymnastics great Simone Biles won't defend her Olympic title in the upcoming all-around final as she continues to focus on her mental health, USA Gymnastics announced Wednesday.

After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition. We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.

— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) July 28, 2021

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

DOJ declines to defend Mo Brooks in Eric Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit

The Department of Justice declined late Tuesday to represent Rep. Mo Brooks in a civil lawsuit against the Georgia congressman concerning the Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Brooks had argued he should have immunity in the suit, filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) against him, former President Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr. and lawyer Rudy Giuliani over the insurrection. He said he was acting as a government employee when he spoke at a rally before the insurrection.

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Katie Ledecky wins gold in first women's 1500m freestyle

Katie Ledecky took home the gold medal in the women's 1,500-meter freestyle swimming race Tuesday evening, becoming the first female swimmer to win the newly added division. Team USA's Erica Sullivan won silver.

Driving the news: The long-distance 1,500m race has traditionally only been available to men at the Olympics, and the Tokyo Games mark the first time that it has been open to women.

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Activision Blizzard CEO says company response to sexism lawsuit was "tone deaf"

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick sent a lengthy letter to employees late on Tuesday, listing steps the company will take to address widespread allegations of sexist and discriminatory conduct at the "Call of Duty" and "World of Warcraft" gaming company.

Why it matters: This was the most comprehensive message from the company, and a softer one than had been sent by Kotick's PR people and a top executive last week.

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Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-endorsed widow of congressman in Texas Senate seat race

Jake Ellzey won a special a runoff election for the U.S. House Seat in Texas on Tuesday night.

Why it matters: It's a blow for his opponent Susan Wright, widow of the late Rep. Ron Wright, who was endorsed by former President Trump.

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Democratic donor donor Ed Buck convicted of providing fatal meth doses to 2 men

Ed Buck, a wealthy political activist and Democratic donor, Tuesday of charges that he supplied fatal methamphetamine doses to two men during "party-and-play" encounters at his West Hollywood apartment, per the New York Times.

Of note: A federal jury found Buck guilty of all nine felony counts exactly four years on from when Gemmel Moore, one of his victims, was found dead from an overdose at his home. Buck could face life in prison over his convictions.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.



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