House Republicans oppose funds to rebuild Baltimore bridge; Rep. Kweisi Mfume says that’s ‘counterproductive’

“This is a national issue that affects the supply chain for all of America,” said Rep. Kweisi Mfume, D-Md.

House Democrats plan to put pressure on House Republicans to approve funding to rebuild the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

Rep. Kweisi Mfume, D-Md., told theGrio “When I’m back on the floor on Tuesday I will speak passionately about funding the bridge” and about why the actions of GOP members “are so counterproductive.”

On March 26, the bridge collapsed after a massive cargo ship rammed into one of the bridge’s support beams and plunged the bridge into the Patapsco River, killing six construction workers.

“This is a national issue that affects the supply chain for all of America,” added Mfume.

Rep. Glenn Ivey, D-Md., told theGrio in a statement that House Republicans who oppose funding the reconstruction of the bridge “may rue the day they face a disaster in their red state and need to ask for federal assistance or funding.”

Ivey added that in times of trouble, “Americans come together. We are neither blue nor red but rather red, white and blue.”

The Democrats’ reactions come after some House GOP members stated that they would refuse to pass legislation to fund the reconstruction of the Francis Scott Key Bridge even though President Joe Biden approved $60 million to rebuild it.

Francis Scott Key Bridge, Baltimore,
An observer at Maryland’s Fort McHenry views a container ship as it rests against the wreckage of the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 28 in Baltimore. (Photo by Matt Rourke, AP)

In an interview with Fox Business, Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Pa., stated that it is “outrageous” for the president to “express in this tragedy the idea that he’s going to use federal funds to pay for it in its entirety.”

Some GOP members went even further and blamed diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as part of the reason for last month’s collapse and justification for why they refuse to pass legislation to fund the rebuilding of the bridge.  

Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Utah, one of the leading voices behind the DEI rhetoric, posted a tweet on X that reads, “This is what happens when you have Governors who prioritize diversity over the wellbeing and security of citizens.”  

As a result, others have taken to social media to call Maryland Gov. Wes Moore and Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott DEI hires.

Ivey told theGrio in a statement that these attacks are “disgusting and irresponsible.”

Baltimore City Mayor, Brandon Scott,
Some Republicans are faulting Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott (above) and Maryland’s governor after the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, but Democratic leaders are rejecting that spin as well as GOP objections to block rebuilding funds. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Ivey criticized members of the GOP for exploiting the tragedy and for spreading lies “apparently for partisan political gain at a time when people are still hurting from the deaths that were caused by this accident and all the negative consequences that have flowed from it.”

Mfume told theGrio that these remarks are “ludicrous.”

Mfume added, “They ought to be shut down every time someone raises” these comments.

The Maryland lawmaker told theGrio that he believes Moore and Scott are “doing a great job.”

“I’ve been more than satisfied with the response that both of them have put forward,” said Mfume.

President Biden is expected to visit Baltimore on Friday to meet with Mfume, Moore, Scott and other Maryland officials about the next steps in rebuilding the bridge.

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