Joe Biden Says Government Will Pay ‘Entire Cost’ of Rebuilding Baltimore Bridge

President Joe Biden said the government would cover the “entire cost” to rebuild the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland after a cargo ship hit the bridge early Tuesday morning.

“It’s my intention that we will pay for the entire cost of reconstructing that bridge. I expect the Congress to support my effort,” Biden said in a White House press conference. “It’s gonna take some time. And the people of Baltimore can count on us, though, to stick with that every step of the way until the port is reopened and the bridge is rebuilt. We’re not leaving until this job is done.”

When asked if the company behind the ship should be held responsible and pay for the repairs, Biden said, “We’re going to pay to get the bridge rebuilt and open.”

He said the rescue operation was the top priority and that ship traffic in the Port of Baltimore has been suspended until further notice.

“We’ll need to clear that channel before the ship traffic can resume,” Biden said.

“It’s also the top port in America for both imports and exports of automobiles and light trucks. Around 850,000 vehicles go through that port every single year, and we’re going to get it up and running again as soon as possible,” Biden continued. “Fifteen thousand jobs depend on that port, and we’re going to do everything we can to protect those jobs and help those workers.”

He said the bridge is also “critical for travel” for the northeast corridor.

“Over 30,000 vehicles cross the Francis Scott Key Bridge on a daily basis. It’s virtually…one of the most important elements for the economy in the Northeast and the quality of life,” he said.

“I’ve directed my team to move heaven and earth, reopen the port, and rebuild the bridge as soon as humanly possible,” he added.