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Senate Democrats unveil details of $3.5 trillion budget deal

Senate Democrats revealed key details of their $3.5 trillion budget framework, a starting point for a Democrat-only bill for "human" infrastructure.

Why it matters: The release of the FY2022 budget deal formally kicks off the process for getting a pair of infrastructure bills across the finish line.

  • Democratic leaders need to hold all 50 of their senators together to pass this budget framework, which they plan to usher through the budget reconciliation process.


Tax credits:

  • Extend the expansions of the child tax credit under the American Rescue Plan, the earned income tax credit, and separate child and dependent care tax credits.
  • A Senate Democratic aide said the duration of each credit’s enactment will be determined by congressional scoring and committee input.

Climate change:

  • Create 80% clean electricity and 50% economy-wide carbon emissions by 2030.
  • More funding for the clean energy standard, clean energy and vehicle tax incentives, civilian climate corps, "climate-smart agriculture," wildfire prevention, federal procurement of clean technologies, weatherization and electrification of buildings and the clean energy accelerator.
  • The resolution will also propose new methane reduction and polluter import fees "to increase our emissions reductions."

Key provisions in the American Families Plan

  • The resolution will include funding for universal pre-K for 3- and 4-year-old children, child care, community college, HBCUs, Pell Grants, paid family and medical leave, nutrition assistance and affordable housing.

Economic inequality

  • Increased funding for housing investments, innovation and research & development upgrades, small business support, American manufacturing and supply chain funding, investment in workers and communities, green cards, pro-worker incentives and penalties.

Pay fors

The plans to offset the package are broken into three separate buckets:

Tax reform

  • Increasing corporate and international taxes, as well as taxes on the wealthy.
  • Increased funding for the IRS to crack down on tax enforcement.

Health savings

  • Through new language on prescription drugs and by repealing the Trump rebate.

Long-term economic growth

  • The framework would prohibit tax increases on families making under $400,000 per year, small businesses and family farms.

The latest: During Senate Democrats' caucus lunch on Wednesday, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) briefed their colleagues on these top-line details.

  • President Biden also attended the lunch in an attempt to keep Democrats unified in their support for both infrastructure bills.

What to watch: The Senate will continue to work on the massive budget reconciliation package while it takes up a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure, with a goal of passing both by August recess.

What to watch at the Olympics today: Gymnastics, golf, 3x3 basketball, swimming

5 events to watch today...

  • 🤸‍♀️ Men’s gymnastics: Team USA’s Sam Mikulak and Brody Malone compete in the individual all-around final. Coverage starts at 6:15 a.m. on Peacock (watch the replay at 8 p.m. ET on NBC)
  • 🏀 3x3 Basketball: The women’s gold medal game between the U.S. and Russia starts at 8:55 a.m. ET on USA Network. Russia and Latvia will play in the men’s final at 9:25 a.m. ET.
  • 🏌️ Men’s golf: Round one tees off at 6:30 p.m. ET on the Golf Channel or stream on
  • 🏊 Swimming: Men’s 800m freestyle, 200m breaststroke and 100m freestyle finals and women’s 200m butterfly final. Coverage starts at 9:30 p.m. on NBC.
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National parks "drowning in tourists"

Data: National Park Service; note: Gateway National Recreation Area is excluded due to missing data in 2021. Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios

National Parks across the U.S. are overflowing with a post-pandemic crush of tourists, leading to increased issues with congestion, traffic jams, user experience, strain on staff and increased damage to the parks.

Why it matters: Some are seeing such a record number they're being forced to limit, and even close, access to certain areas to avoid the danger of eroding the land. The result, ultimately, could change the way Americans interact with the parks going forward.

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The big picture: Zuckerberg admits Facebook will only be one of many companies building this next-generation model of today's internet — but he also intends Facebook to lead the pack.

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The Biden administration is essentially asking vaccinated Americans to help save the unvaccinated from themselves.

The big picture: America's "pandemic of the unvaccinated" has gotten bad enough that vaccine mandates are starting to catch on, and masks are coming back — in some cases, even for the vaccinated.

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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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