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Former Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. Photo: William Campbell/Getty Images

A group of key former governors and mayors — including former Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke — today embraced the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal as long overdue.

What they're saying: "We know first-hand the overwhelming need for improvement," the group said in a statement provided first to Axios.

  • "The country and Congress have been debating for years the need to update and invest in vital projects, so we are pleased that both Democratic and Republican Senators have come together to propose the largest long-term infrastructure investment in nearly a century."

The former officials said they can give examples "across the country, in our cities and states, of worthy projects postponed or cancelled for lack of funding and imagination."

  • "We now must build a 21st century infrastructure to support a 21st century economy."

The group hailed the proposal's benefits for roads and bridges, broadband, transit, energy, water systems, and climate solutions:

  • "[I]t is now time to solve this problem and invest in the U.S. infrastructure that sustains our daily lives and the economy."

Key names: Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D), former Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D), former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D), former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, former Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Whitman.

Read the full statement.

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Go deeper

Sep 28, 2021 - Economy & Business

First look: Yellen, Raimondo lobby business for Biden

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen (left) and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. Photos: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images (left) and Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo are delivering a pair of speeches Tuesday lobbying the business community to back the entirety of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: While business groups have endorsed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, they're opposed to the concurrent $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package — which would raise taxes on corporations.

Updated 7 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 9 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.