White House requests billions to rebuild Baltimore bridge, repair infrastructure

The White House budget director sent a letter to Congress on Friday asking for more than $3 billion to finance the rebuilding of a collapsed bridge in Baltimore and to repair other damaged US infrastructure.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge went crashing into the water in late March after a cargo ship plowed into it, killing six workers and blocking a key shipping route into the port of Baltimore for more than two months.

Joe Biden’s administration “is asking the Congress to provide an additional $3.1 billion in funding” for an emergency relief program under the Department of Transportation, the president’s budget director Shalanda Young wrote in a letter to House leadership.

The additional funds “would cover increased needs for repairing and rebuilding highways and roads that have been damaged, in disasters and other emergencies across the Nation, including the cost of rebuilding the Francis Scott Key Bridge,” she added.

The federal administration has already approved $60 million in emergency funding for the bridge’s cleanup and recovery operation.

Young also requested an additional $700 million be made available to support communities affected in last year’s deadly fires on the Hawaiian island of Maui, in which more than 100 people were killed.

The increased relief “would not only help Maui rebuild, but also cover unmet needs resulting from other disasters declared in calendar year 2023,” she said, adding that the money would also support people affected by severe storms, hurricanes and flooding across the United States.