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Johnson, Cole speak with Baltimore’s Mfume on federal Key Bridge recovery funds

Rep. Kweisi Mfume, who represents the area where Baltimore’s collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge stood, said he spoke over the weekend with Speaker Mike Johnson and senior House appropriator Tom Cole as he seeks to rally support for federal funding to rebuild the bridge and reopen the Port of Baltimore.

“This is not, nor should it be, a partisan issue,” Mfume (D-Md.) said at a press conference alongside Maryland Democratic Gov. Wes Moore. Mfume added that, in talking to Cole (R-Okla.) — a frontrunner to lead the Appropriations Committee — he got a sense of “how dedicated he is and will be to making sure that this is taken care of.”

On Republicans who expressed skepticism toward congressional funding for rebuilding the bridge, Mfume said: “Petty minds have petty thoughts. The larger base of Americans realize how valuable this port is to the national economy and to supply chains.”

All Maryland officials stressed the reconstruction phase for the bridge would be lengthy, and that they’re still in the opening stages of removing debris following the collapse of the bridge.

The White House said earlier Monday that President Joe Biden would visit the scene of the collapse later this week.

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