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Biden to travel to Baltimore on Friday to visit bridge collapse

President Biden will travel to Baltimore on Friday to visit the site of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge, the White House announced Monday.

“We are with you Baltimore, and we will be there to get this done,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said when making the announcement.

Biden himself had vowed to visit Baltimore, saying on Friday he would visit alongside Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D). Hours after the collapse early Tuesday morning, Biden said he planned to go to the site “as quickly as” he can.

Jean-Pierre said Biden is continuing to lead a “whole of government” approach to respond to the collapse, which killed six people and has temporality closed one of the country’s busiest ports. She said Biden has been working with Moore to get the port reopened and the bridge rebuilt.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge, on Interstate 695, collapsed into the water after it was hit around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday by cargo ship Dali, which was headed to Sri Lanka.

Biden has vowed that the federal government will foot the bill to rebuild the bridge, but that has been met with backlash from conservative spending hawks. The Department of Transportation has released $16 million for the bridge, which Jean-Pierre called a “down payment.”

She said the White House will continue to talk to Congress about assistance, adding that the president has made a commitment to do “everything we can to make sure that bridge gets back up.”

Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su traveled to Baltimore on Monday for meetings with stakeholders, Jean-Pierre said. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg traveled to Baltimore on the day of the collapse.

There is no timeline for when the Port of Baltimore can reopen, and officials have said it will take “some time” for the bridge to be rebuilt.


Source: The Hill

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