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Republicans slammed for trying to blame Baltimore bridge collapse on Biden’s infrastructure bill

‘Sickening that Republicans are now blaming Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill for this bridge accident. The sheer gall and naked opportunism and idiocy,’ epidemiologist says

Gustaf Kilander
Washington DC
Wednesday 27 March 2024 15:15 GMT
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Related video: Baltimore bridge collapse

Republicans are facing criticism for attempting to blame the Baltimore Bridge collapse on President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed on Tuesday after a cargo ship crashed into it. Six construction workers are presumed dead.

South Carolina Representative Nancy Mace appeared on the rightwing channel Newsmax on Tuesday when she was asked why there are still old bridges and roads in the US after the passing of legislation to upgrade them.

“Because we're not spending it on roads and bridges,” she claimed. “Look at the $1.2tn infrastructure bill that was done a couple of years ago that the left hails as this massive success, but it was mostly Green New Deal, actually, in that bill – 110bn went to surface transportation which is roads and bridges and of that 110bn, 70 billion went to public transportation leaving only 40bn for traditional roads and bridges.”

Ms Mace inaccurately described the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure deal, which she didn’t vote for but has taken credit for.

“The legislation will reauthorize surface transportation programs for five years and invest $110 billion in additional funding to repair our roads and bridges and support major, transformational projects,” the White House said in November 2021.

In addition to that, separately, the White House noted that “The legislation includes $39 billion of new investment to modernize transit, in addition to continuing the existing transit programs for five years as part of surface transportation reauthorization”.

“In total, the new investments and reauthorization in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal provide $89.9 billion in guaranteed funding for public transit over the next five years — the largest Federal investment in public transit in history,” the White House added at the time.

Ms Mace went on to say, “If you live along the coast or you live near water, you know that our bridges are rusting out, you know that we have many, many bridges that have to be replaced and upgraded”.

“You know, it's probably about a billion dollars of bridge every time and so I look at South Carolina when the infrastructure bill came through. We really only got $1 billion more than we otherwise would have over a five year period. I can barely build a bridge in my district for a billion dollars,” she claimed.

Biden 2020 delegate Victor Shi wrote on X that “if you’re blaming the Maryland bridge collapse on President Biden, you’re a total & complete piece of s***. The bridge collapsing has nothing to do with him — all of them know it — and their attempt to blame this on him is as unpatriotic as it gets. Beneath contempt”.

Author Christopher Moore added: “Breaking: Titanic striking iceberg blamed on Biden climate policy.”

Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding wrote that it’s “Sickening that Republicans (Nancy Mace) are now blaming Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill for this bridge accident. The sheer gall and naked opportunism and idiocy”.

Democratic congressional candidate Mac Deford added that it’s “shameful that @NancyMace has used the #FrancisScottKeyBridge collapse to score political points, especially when she can’t get her facts straight. South Carolina is expected to receive nearly $5 billion over the next 5 years for highways and bridges from the bipartisan infrastructure law”.

Far-right Georgia Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene was hit with a community note on the platform after she asked if the bridge collapse could have been an “intentional attack”.

The FBI office in Baltimore said in a statement, according to The New York Times, that there was “no specific and credible information to suggest any ties to terrorism”.

In addition, Maryland Governor Wes Moore confirmed that the crew on the ship issued a mayday and communicated that they were having a power problem, leading to transportation officials stopping traffic.

“These people are heroes. They saved lives,” Mr Moore said, according to The Baltimore Banner.

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