DUNDALK, Md. — For the primary time, President Biden bought to see what’s left of the Francis Scott Key Bridge – in particular person. He seen the wreckage from the skies above the Patapsco River on board Marine One, joined by Governor Moore.

After receiving an replace on the restoration operation, Biden delivered a speech exterior Maryland Transportation Authority Police headquarters, which has been serving because the command middle for the federal government’s response efforts.

He started the speech with a message for the individuals of Maryland:

“I’m right here to say the nation has your again and I imply it.”

Biden went on to stipulate all of the methods the federal authorities is throwing its weight behind the state and metropolis’s efforts to reopen the Port of Baltimore, help the individuals immediately left with out work, and finally rebuild the bridge.

With that help, comes hundreds of thousands and hundreds of thousands of {dollars}. The first batch of funds was permitted by the Biden administration lower than two days after the collapse – $60 million to help with restoration and clean-up.

Today, Biden introduced extra funding from the Dislocated Worker Grant program, a federal program that was created to offer funding to dislocated employees after giant, surprising financial occasions that result in important job losses.

created to broaden the service capability of dislocated employee packages on the state and native ranges by offering funding help in response to giant, surprising financial occasions that result in important job losses.

An preliminary $3.5 million was launched in the present day to assist pay or subsidize wages for individuals who misplaced their jobs and are engaged in post-disaster reduction employment. Funding from the grant can go as much as $25 million. Some of the cash will go in direction of coaching and hiring extra individuals to assist with the restoration efforts.

“But of us, all of us must step up. Amazon, Home Depot, Domino Sugar, and plenty of different corporations have dedicated to retaining employees on their payrolls and their companies in Baltimore,” Biden stated in the present day. “I’m calling on each firm in and across the port, to do the identical factor, the identical actual factor – commit to remain. And to the purchasers who use this port – we’re coming again, and we’re coming again quickly.”

Most poignant within the President’s speech had been his remarks on the victims, and their grieving households. He shared the final phrases one of many males stated to his girlfriend, proper earlier than tragedy struck.

“After pulling an evening shift fixing potholes, they had been on a break when the ship struck. Just seconds earlier than, one of many males, named Carlos, who was solely 24, left a message for his girlfriend which stated: ‘We simply completed pouring cement. We’re ready for it to dry.’ Well the entire households and family members are grieving. I’ve come right here to grieve with you.”

Looking forward on our lengthy highway to restoration, the President stated he “absolutely intends” for the federal authorities to cowl the price of a brand new bridge. He referred to as on Congress to authorize that funding.

“My vow is that we are going to not relaxation, as Carlos stated, till the cement dries,and the whole thing of a brand new bridge – a brand new bridge.”

Not everyone seems to be on board with the plan to make use of taxpayer cash to rebuild the bridge. The House Freedom Caucus, a bunch of greater than 30 Republican representatives, stated in the present day they need Congress to as an alternative search most legal responsibility from the ship proprietor upfront, and have the Port of Baltimore draw upon already obtainable federal funds first. The caucus additionally set forth just a few circumstances they are saying must be met earlier than approving any supplemental federal funding.

In a statement posted on X,, the caucus writes: “Congress ought to guarantee it’s absolutely offset and that burdensome laws (similar to NEPA, the Endangered Species Act, the Davis Bacon Act, venture labor agreements, and so on.) are waived to keep away from all pointless delays and prices. Furthermore, this funding should be restricted to bodily construction repairs with a federal nexus – this should not change into a pork-filled invoice loaded with unrelated initiatives and the House of Representatives should adhere to the ‘single topic’ rule. Finally, the Biden Administration’s pause on approvals of liquified pure fuel export terminals – which, just like the Baltimore harbor closure, has extreme implications for overseas commerce – should be lifted earlier than Congress considers appropriating any funding for the bridge reconstruction.”

Mayor Brandon Scott responded to that statement on Xas properly, writing: “Not shocking that they forgot to incorporate the individuals impacted by this disaster. It’s not simply bodily construction — it’s tens of 1000’s of households that must put meals on their tables.”
The Biden administration has stated it intends to carry anyone chargeable for the crash accountable. That consists of recovering prices, which might assist make taxpayers entire. But the administration would not wish to maintain up any of the work by ready for to see how the insurance coverage and legal responsibility points play out.