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Sec. Buttigieg Touts Biden’s Infrastructure Package At Port Of Baltimore

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U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg touting President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure package at the Port of Baltimore on Thursday, flanked by Sen. Chris Van Hollen (left) and Mayor Brandon Scott (right.)

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg touted President Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure package at the Port of Baltimore Thursday, saying the legislation includes funding opportunities for the city for transportation, ports and high-speed internet.

“This is a once in a generation opportunity to transform our infrastructure, including $17 billion to improve our ports and waterways,” Buttigieg said. “That means increasing the volume of goods that our ports can handle. It means positioning America to be more economically competitive for the decades to come and crucially, it means an opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of ports on the communities that surround them.”

Mayor Brandon Scott, a staunch Biden ally, said the infrastructure bill may allow the city to deal with the infamous Highway to Nowhere — a 1.2 mile stretch of West Baltimore land that was partially built into an interstate before being abandoned in the 1980s.

“This bill is about making sure that our country is ready and prepared for tomorrow — today, and creating opportunities for our young people, for our generations of families to continue to work at great places like the port,” Scott said.

Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind. and former candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, congratulated Scott on his time in office and said that the role of a mayor is the most “on-the-ground, frontline, key role in delivering things to citizens.”

He also thanked Republican Gov. Larry Hogan for his “bipartisan voice and the convincing case he’s made for the infrastructure bill.”

Hogan said the bill would create 10,000 state jobs and make generational investments in Maryland and the rest of the country. He urged federal lawmakers to vote in its favor.

Biden’s proposal is set to receive a final vote from Congress in the coming days. It would set aside $110 billion for roads and bridges and other major projects, $66 billion in rail investments and $17 billion in port infrastructure.

Emily Sullivan is a city hall reporter at WYPR, where she covers all things Baltimore politics. She joined WYPR after reporting for NPR’s national airwaves. There, she was a reporter for NPR’s news desk, business desk and presidential conflicts of interest team. Sullivan won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for an investigation into a Trump golf course's finances alongside members of the Embedded team. She has also won awards from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association for her use of sound and feature stories. She has provided news analysis on 1A, The Takeaway, Here & Now and All Things Considered.