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Biden wants taxpayers to pay for obliterated bridge — but a House Republican has better ideas
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Biden wants taxpayers to pay for obliterated bridge — but a House Republican has better ideas

Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.) doesn't believe taxpayers should finance the rebuilding of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

After a massive cargo ship obliterated the bridge, President Joe Biden promised to "move heaven and earth to reopen the port and rebuild the bridge as soon as humanly possible."

His plan? To force taxpayers to fund the project.

"It's my intention that federal government will pay for the entire cost of reconstructing that bridge, and I expect the Congress to support my effort," Biden explained on Tuesday.

But Meuser thinks the government must explore other options instead of rushing to spend more taxpayer money.

"It was kind of outrageous immediately for Biden to express in this tragedy the idea that he’s going to use federal funds to pay for it in the entirety," he said Thursday on Fox Business. "You know, he doesn’t refer to it as the American taxpayers' dollars on anything. You know, the first reaction, in fact the only reaction, tends to be to spend."

He added, "We just can't take the easy route all of the time and just spend the taxpayers' money."

Instead, Meuser suggested three alternative ways to pay for the rebuilding project.

First, Meuser said Singapore, where the company that owns the ship is located, could play a role in helping finance the project. Second, he pointed to insurance companies, something Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has also suggested. Third, he said that money from Biden's massive infrastructure bill that isn't being used can be reappropriated to pay for the project.

The exact cost of the rebuilding project is not yet known. It is expected to cost several billion dollars.

Still, it would not be totally unprecedented for taxpayers to foot the bill.

After the I-35W Mississippi River bridge collapsed on August 1, 2007, Congress unanimously approved a bill allotting $250 million in emergency money to rebuild the bridge. Then-President George W. Bush signed that bill on August 6, 2007.

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