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White House sends Congress funding request to cover Baltimore bridge collapse costs

The White House on Friday submitted an emergency supplemental funding request to Congress seeking billions of dollars to cover the costs of the collapse of a major bridge in Baltimore and other needs.

White House budget director Shalanda Young wrote to Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) outlining the ask, which includes $33 million to replenish Army Corps of Engineers funds used to remove wreckage in the Baltimore Harbor after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed in March.

The overall request totals nearly $4 billion and includes some items previously requested in an October supplemental funding submission.

Friday’s ask includes $79.5 million to cover unplanned costs from the Coast Guard’s response to the bridge collapse. The money includes personnel, as well as vessel, aviation and boat maintenance.

The White House is asking Congress to provide an additional $3.1 billion for the Department of Transportation’s Emergency Relief Program. That money would cover the cost of rebuilding the Francis Scott Key Bridge at a 100 percent federal cost share and repair other federal highways and federally-owned roads that have been damaged by natural disasters.

The administration is also seeking $700 million for the Department of Housing and Urban Development to address disaster relief efforts. That ask dates back to 2023, when the administration sought funding to replenish disaster relief funds needed after wildfires in Maui and devastating storms across the Midwest.

“I urge the Congress to take action as soon as possible, and the Administrations stands ready to work with you to fund these urgent needs,” Young wrote to Johnson.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed in March after a massive shipping vessel struck it, causing the Port of Baltimore to close until it was fully reopened earlier this month.

President Biden promised at the time that the federal government would foot the bill to rebuild the bridge, but that suggestion was met with some backlash from Republicans.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) said in an interview earlier this month that the cost to repair the Francis Scott Key Bridge could range between $1.7 billion and $1.9 billion.

“The reason that we are urging a federal cost share, and a 100-percent cost share, is just simply because we have to move quickly. And I need to get this done on time and on budget. We know that in order to move fast, we’ve got to get that 100-percent cost share,” Moore said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Source: The Hill

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