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Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

Gary Cohn talked about infrastructure with members this morning at the Republican Congressional Retreat, per a source briefed on the presentation. Cohn — who sat on a panel with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and key GOP members — said the administration's plan targets $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment, reduces permitting process times and pays for projects in rural areas.

Why it matters: The Trump administration plans to release its infrastructure plan in the next few weeks.

Per a source in the room: There was a discussion about raising the gas tax to pay for infrastructure. Rep. Bill Shuster was pushing them to take a serious look at the gas tax and not rule anything out. Cohn had said that as an administration they are open to supporting Congress looking at all options to raise revenue. There was respectful conversation on the subject, the source told me, with Sen. John Barrasso disagreeing and Sen. John Thune seeming intrigued.

But top Republican sources tell me raising the gas tax seems unlikely given they've just passed a massive tax cut. It would be seen as raising taxes on the middle class and undoing all that good work.

The administration's economic agenda: Start with deregulations, which remains in progress, pass a tax cut (done), and roll out an infrastructure package, which will be tough to get through the Senate this year. 

How they'll achieve their desired infrastructure aims, per the plan Cohn presented:

  • Give special funds to governors for rural projects
  • Spend more on credit programs like TIFIA
  • Create incentives for states to have infrastructure revenue sources that are sustainable

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Sports

Japan's Naomi Osaka lights Olympic cauldron, kicking off Tokyo Games

Naomi Osaka lights the Olympic cauldron. Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images

After a year-long delay, the Olympics finally got underway Friday as tennis star Naomi Osaka, who is competing for Japan, lit the cauldron, formally kicking off the Tokyo Games.

The big picture: Friday's opening ceremony looked, like many things over the last year, different than normal — multicolored seats replaced cheering fans, masks were a central part of the athletes' uniforms and a subdued, somber tone marked the occasion.

2 hours ago - World

China sanctions Wilbur Ross, 5 other Americans over Hong Kong warnings

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Chinese government imposed sanctions on Monday against six Americans, including former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, in response to an advisory from the Biden administration warning businesses of the increased risks of operating in Hong Kong.

Why it matters: It's the latest example of China responding furiously to U.S. attempts to shed light on human rights abuses in places like Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet, which Chinese officials routinely condemn as "interference" in domestic affairs.

3 hours ago - Sports

Cleveland Indians change name to "Guardians"

The Cleveland Indians baseball team announced Friday that it will change its name to the "Guardians," following years of activism and protests against a moniker considered offensive by many Native Americans.

Why it matters: It's the first time the team will change its name since 1915, a move that comes in the wake of the nationwide racial reckoning that began with the murder of George Floyd.

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