GOP senator: Government must ‘come together’ on Baltimore bridge recovery

GOP Sen. Rick Scott (Fla.) on Sunday called for the government to
“come together” to support the Francis Scott Key Bridge salvage project, and urged the Biden administration against “playing politics” with relief.

The bridge collapsed last Tuesday after a cargo ship crashed into one of its supports, killing six construction workers and sending the steel structure into the Patapsco River. The wreckage is now blocking the Port of Baltimore’s entrance and a timeline for when it could reopen remains unclear.

“I know that it’s going to take a lot of work. But this should be an issue that we all come together [on]. Unfortunately, the Biden administration’s played politics,” Scott said during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I still have Florida farmers from a year and a half ago that still aren’t getting relief. So the federal government is a partner, the federal government needs to be a partner. But we need to stop playing politics and that’s exactly what the Biden administration has done,” he continued.

President Biden, for his part, quickly vowed to rebuild the bridge and said he expects the federal government to pay for the “entire reconstructing” process.

The Department of Transportation authorized $60 million in relief, which it called a “down payment toward initial costs.”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Sunday confirmed this money came from the department’s Emergency Relief program, but noted Congress may need to approve such relief. He said he hopes there will be bipartisan support on Capitol Hill should the government need to turn to them.

Signs of disagreement over bridge relief are already being seen among lawmakers. Many Democrats praised Biden’s pledge for relief, while conservative spending hawks urged against increasing the national debt.

The Hill reached out to The White House for comment.

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