Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg tour Baltimore bridge collapse site, outline federal support for Maryland

Author: Christopher Wiggins

U.S. government officials, including the president, were in Maryland on Friday to commit federal government support to the state.

Buttigieg detailed the Department of Transportation’s actions, focusing on rapid resource allocation and support.

“Helping Maryland get the bridge back up and dealing with the surface traffic implications has been our top priority,” Buttigieg said. He highlighted steps taken to maintain commerce flow and increase capacity at key facilities, including executing a revised grant agreement to enhance operational capacities at the nearby Sparrows Point Trade Point facility as part of the government’s proactive measures to support Baltimore’s economic infrastructure in light of the port’s disruption.

Buttigieg said the federal response includes additional funding measures and efforts to streamline regulatory processes, aiming to expedite the recovery and rebuilding efforts. Maryland U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat, commended Buttigieg for his swift and decisive actions.

“Secretary Buttigieg was here in Baltimore within hours, bringing the full resources of the Department of Transportation to our aid,” Cardin said.

Biden highlighted the crucial role of Congress in the recovery efforts. He emphasized the need for bipartisan cooperation and legislative support to secure the funding and authorization necessary for rebuilding the bridge and restoring the Port of Baltimore’s operations. Biden called on Congress to act swiftly to provide the support needed, stressing the importance of such action for the city’s recovery and the resilience of its critical infrastructure. “I stand here…I call on Congress to authorize this effort as soon as possible,” Biden said.

He also offered condolences to the families affected by the tragedy and reaffirmed the nation’s resolve to support Maryland throughout the recovery process. “To all the families and loved ones who are grieving, I’ve come here to grieve with you,” Biden said.

“I’m here to say your nation has your back,” Biden said.

Buttigieg also underscored the Port of Baltimore’s strategic importance to the nation’s economy, particularly its role in vehicle handling. He pointed to the administration’s efforts to redirect traffic and enhance capacity at alternate locations as examples of measures implemented to mitigate the collapse’s impact on national commerce.

Biden committed to the reconstruction effort’s reliance on high-quality materials and labor. He assured comprehensive federal coverage of the rebuilding costs to alleviate Maryland’s financial burden. “We fully intend to have the federal government cover the cost of building this entire bridge,” he promised.

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Christopher Wiggins

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