Some lawmakers balk at paying for Baltimore bridge rebuild

By Anthony Adragna | 03/28/2024 04:24 PM EDT

They say insurance and shipping companies should pony up before federal dollars flow, despite President Joe Biden’s vow to “pay for the entire cost.”

Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.).

Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.) is questioning President Joe Biden's promise that the federal government would pay for rebuilding Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge. Alex Brandon/AP

Two days after Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, signs of friction — or outright reluctance — are emerging among some lawmakers about using new federal dollars to rebuild it, even as President Joe Biden implores Congress to fully fund the recovery.

“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,” Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.) told Fox Business on Thursday. “This is a crisis situation, but it needs a plan, not a knee-jerk spend reaction.”

The Pennsylvania Republican suggested that instead of spending new money for reconstruction of the bridge, lawmakers pull cash from the “ridiculous” electric vehicle deployment program that Congress voted to create earlier in Biden’s administration.


Several other lawmakers from both parties appeared hesitant Thursday about Congress approving rebuilding money until insurance and shipping companies pay the costs they’re responsible for stemming from the tragic collision of a freighter with the bridge. Six workers are presumed dead in connection with the accident; the total bill for rebuilding is likely to be billions of dollars.