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GOP senators hint they're looking for infrastructure deal

Key Senate Republicans in talks with the White House to negotiate down the administration's trillion-dollar infrastructure package indicated this weekend that they are still looking for a deal.

Why it matters: The White House recently proposed a $1.7 trillion counteroffer to GOP calls to cut spending — below the original $2 trillion price tag, but still too high for Republican negotiators.

  • Democratic leaders could pass Biden's infrastructure plan on a party-line basis, but "the discussions between Biden and GOP senators represent one of the president’s best hopes for a bipartisan policy achievement," the Washington Post reported.

What to watch: Biden is eyeing June 9 when the surface transportation bill that forms a pillar of the administration's infrastructure plan will be brought up for a vote by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, per the Post.

  • Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNN on Sunday that negotiations "need a clear direction" by June 7, when members return from recess.

What they're saying: Key GOP members representing their party in White House negotiations complimented the president's approach when speaking with the Post.

  • “I have had opportunities and dealings with him over the years, and he’s a straight shooter,” said Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). “If he gives you his commitment, you can count on it.”
  • "I think it stems from his, kind of, innate Senate negotiating skills,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.). The senator, who said she'd spoken by phone with Biden earlier in the week, told Fox News Sunday: "I think we can get to real compromise, absolutely, because we're both still in the game."
  • “I don’t want this to get into a ‘Biden doesn’t know what he’s doing.’ He totally understands,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). “All of his training is as a senator who understands the importance of finding a place where everybody can be moving forward.”

E3 2021: Nintendo and Ubisoft team up again with Switch sequel “Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope"

Two of gaming’s biggest companies are creating a game together for the third time in five years with a Switch sequel, “Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope.”

Why it matters: Nintendo rarely lets other companies work with its characters, making its continued partnerships with Ubisoft a rare sign of trust.

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The state of play: Harris and second gentleman, Doug Emhoff, joined the crowd, who welcomed them with cheers, according to press reports.

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The big picture: Companies need workers, but many employees aren't ready to go back to the way things used to be. A hybrid setup could provide the best possible way forward, if both sides are willing to give.

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Blue Origin auctions off a trip to the edge of space for $28 million

A seat aboard Blue Origin’s first crewed flight to suborbital space fetched $28 million during a live auction on Saturday.

Why it matters: While the market for suborbital tourist flights to space may not be huge, experts say it's an important, public-facing part of the space industry that could popularize it as more people start flying.

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Macron at G7: "It's great to have the U.S. president part of the club"

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Why it matters: Biden has made rebuilding the United States' global leadership central to his foreign policy, frequently touting, "America is back."

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More than dozen injured in downtown Austin shooting

A shooting in a busy part of downtown Austin, Texas, early Saturday injured at least 13 people, including two who are in critical condition.

The state of play: Gunfire erupted around 1:30 a.m. along 6th Street, a popular area with bars and restaurants. The suspected shooter remains at large, Austin police said. "It is unknown if there is one, or multiple suspects involved," they noted, adding the shooting appears to be an isolated incident.

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Biden to urge G7 to take unified approach to countering China

President Biden on Saturday is expected to urge fellow G7 leaders to adopt a unified approach to countering China's rising global influence, AP reports.

Driving the news: The G7 leaders are set to unveil a multi-billion-dollar global infrastructure plan aimed at rivaling Beijing's efforts in the developing world.

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