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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

Jul 29, 2021 - Health

Infrastructure deal's health care winners and losers

Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, center, speaks during a news conference in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on July 28, 2021. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Providers can breathe a sigh of relief: Congress isn't planning on repurposing unspent money from the pandemic provider relief fund, at least not yet.

Driving the news: The White House finally reached an infrastructure deal with a bipartisan group of senators yesterday, paid for in part with health care policies.

Updated 17 mins ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Team USA's Ryan Crouser competing on Thursday in the men's Olympic shot put final in Tokyo, which he won. Photo: Andrej Isakovic/AFP via Getty Images

🥇: Ryan Crouser breaks his own Olympic shot put record to win gold for U.S.

🏐: U.S. Olympic beach volleyball duo one step away from realizing gold medal dream

🤼🏿‍♀️ "Making history": Mensah-Stock first Black woman to win Olympic wrestling gold

🛹: 2 teens and girl, 12, sweep board at women's park skateboarding

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Landlords mount legal challenge to Biden admin's new eviction moratorium

President Biden at the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A group of landlords and real-estate companies issued a legal challenge on Wednesday night in a D.C. district court to the Biden administration's new national eviction moratorium.

Driving the news: The Alabama and Georgia Associations of Realtors' emergency motion argues that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's order Tuesday barring evictions for most of the U.S. through Oct. 3 exceeds the CDC's powers, according to a statement from the National Association of Realtors.