GOP Congressman Says It’s ‘Outrageous’ To Use Federal Funds To Fix Baltimore Bridge | EUROtoday

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Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.) on Thursday criticized President Joe Biden for calling on Congress to pay for the price of fixing the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore after it was struck by a ship and collapsed this week, leaving six individuals presumed useless and a serious transport port closed for the foreseeable future.

“It was kind of outrageous immediately for Biden to express in this tragedy the idea that he’s going to use federal funds to pay for the entirety,” Meuser mentioned in an interview with Fox Business on Thursday. “This is a crisis situation, but it needs a plan, not a knee-jerk spend reaction.”

The Pennsylvania congressman prompt as a substitute pulling from funds Democrats have already handed boosting electrical automobiles to assist pay for the restore effort, which may value upwards of a number of billions of {dollars}.

White House spokesman Andrew Bates didn’t appear to take kindly to Meuser’s feedback, writing on X, previously Twitter, that Biden “knows the federal government has a critical role to play when it comes to American infrastructure” and that “so does” Meuser.” He famous a press launch featured on the congressman’s web site that touts his efforts at securing federal funding to interchange a bridge in his district.

“Without a functional bridge, members of the community would face considerable challenges in accessing essential services and navigating their daily lives. This investment will have a beneficial impact on all who call New Milford Borough home,” Meuser mentioned in an announcement accompanying the press launch earlier this week.

It’s not clear but precisely how a lot federal funding Maryland would require to repair the bridge. There are about $950 million in federal funds obtainable for such functions that may be launched from an emergency fund throughout the Federal Highway Administration. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) advised reporters on Thursday that almost all of the price of the venture shall be coated by emergency funds already obtainable and that Congress might want to complement the rest. Additional cash could possibly be offered from the transport firm’s insurance coverage.

Biden mentioned Tuesday he meant for the federal authorities to pay for the complete value of reconstructing that bridge, vowing to “spend all the federal resources they need as we respond to this emergency.”

But if Meuser’s feedback are any indication of the place Republicans will line up on this subject, Congress could possibly be in for one more partisan battle when it returns to Washington from its recess subsequent month.

Republicans loudly protested the $1.2 trillion authorities funding invoice Congress handed final week due to its impact on the deficit, and a few on the far-right might demand partisan coverage adjustments in change for agreeing to supply federal funding to repair the bridge ― one other signal of how toxic politics in D.C. have gotten recently.

A horrible bridge collapse was as soon as a trigger for each events to come back collectively to assist their fellow Americans. In 2007, when the I-35W bridge collapsed over the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis, killing 13 individuals, each chambers of Congress voted unanimously to ship $250 million in emergency help to Minnesota to assist with the cleanup and rebuild inside only a few days of the disaster.

Van Hollen advised reporters on Thursday he deliberate to name House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), who has but to touch upon how Congress plans to deal with the catastrophe, to debate the trail for a funding invoice.

The Maryland Democrat additionally slammed Meuser’s feedback in an announcement offered to HuffPost, noting the consequences of the closure of the Port of Baltimore shall be felt broadly throughout the nation.

“This is a national tragedy with national implications — including to our economy and our supply chains,” the senator mentioned. “We should of course hold those responsible accountable. But Congress needs to come together on a bipartisan basis as it has in the past to provide any funds necessary as soon as they’re necessary. It’s shameful that anyone would play politics with this.”