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Reps. Jim Jordan and Elijah Cummings. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Today in strange bedfellows: The ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus share enthusiasm for the same bill — an infrastructure package with bipartisan and pan-ideological enthusiasm.

What's more, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is onboard. The Intercept's Ryan Grim summed up these unusual political dynamics in a tweet: "Here's Breitbart writing about Kevin McCarthy endorsing the use of a CBC-backed bill to make an infrastructure deal happen. Worlds are colliding."

Details: As we reported last year, the bill — called the Generating American Infrastructure and Income Now (GAIIN) Act — would require the Department of Agriculture to sell its distressed debt assets, estimated to be worth more than $50 billion.

  • The money gained by selling off these assets would be divided in two: Half would go to paying down the national debt, and half would go to funding infrastructure projects in communities below the poverty level.

In a Saturday phone interview, Wendell Stemley, the president of the National Association of Minority Contractors, told me he's backing the GAIIN Act. "Like everybody, we want to see a fully funded infrastructure bill," he said. "But one that accomplishes some of those objectives without raising the national debt and additional taxes has got to be something we get behind."

Go deeper

16 mins ago - Health

The floodgates have opened for vaccine mandates

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

State governments, private businesses and even part of the federal government are suddenly embracing mandatory coronavirus vaccinations for their employees.

Why it matters: Vaccine mandates have been relatively uncommon in the U.S. But with vaccination rates stagnating and the Delta variant driving yet another wave of cases, there's been a new groundswell of support for such requirements.

Ina Fried, author of Login
16 mins ago - Sports

Axios at the Olympics: Softball on the brink

Cat Osterman, pitching here against Japan on Monday, came out of retirement to play in the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: ina Fried

TOKYO – When the U.S. and Japan take the field in Yokohama on Tuesday, they are playing for more than just a gold medal. As badly as both teams want to win, they also want to show the world their sport deserves a permanent place in the Olympics.

Why it matters: Softball is returning to the Olympics after a 12-year absence, but its long-term Olympic future is uncertain, with the sport not part of the 2024 Games in Paris and plans up in the air after that.

Updated 40 mins ago - Sports

Naomi Osaka eliminated from Olympic Games tennis tournament

Czech 42nd-ranked Marketa Vondrousova (L) shakes hands with Japan's Naomi Osaka after their Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games women's singles third round tennis match at the Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo on Tuesday. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images

Naomi Osaka was eliminated from the Olympics Games after losing her Tokyo tennis tournament match 6-1, 6-4 in the third round to Czech Marketa Vondrousova on Tuesday.

Of note: Japan's Osaka is the women's world No. 2, while is Vondrousova ranked No.42.

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