Updated Apr 5, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Biden visits Baltimore in aftermath of deadly bridge collapse

Marine One with US President Joe Biden onboard, makes an aerial tour of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge

Marine One with President Joe Biden onboard, makes an aerial tour of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge on April 5. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Friday reiterated his pledge that the federal government will foot the entire cost of rebuilding the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore while visiting the site of the collapse that killed six construction workers last week.

The big picture: It's the president's first visit to the city since the catastrophic collapse and gave him the chance to survey recovery efforts at one of the country's busiest ports.

What he's saying: Biden told Baltimore that "your nation has your back," per Friday remarks.

  • "We're going to move heaven and Earth to rebuild this bridge as rapidly as humanly possible, and we're going to do so with union labor and American steel," he added.
  • The president said he fully intends to "have the federal government cover the cost of building this entire bridge" and called on Congress to "authorize this effort as soon as possible."

Driving the news: In addition to getting an aerial tour of the site, Biden met with first responders and federal, state, and local officials during his visit.

  • He is also meeting with the families of the six workers who were killed.

Catch up quick: The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed last week after a cargo ship struck one of the bridge's pillars in the early hours of the morning.

  • Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) said last week that the incident was likely the result of an accident. The ship had been experiencing a power issue and issued a mayday signal before colliding with the bridge.

Details: Biden said last week he wants the federal government to foot the full bill of rebuilding the bridge.

  • Shalanda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget, sent a letter to congressional leaders Friday asking them to authorize the federal government to cover 100% of the costs of rebuilding the bridge.
  • Biden has already approved Maryland's request of $60 million to assist in initial recovery efforts, including debris removal.
  • The Department of Labor has also approved an initial tranche of Dislocated Worker Grant funding to support workers impacted by the incident, per a White House fact sheet.

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Go deeper