PITTSBURGH (AP) — President Joe Biden visited Pittsburgh’s collapsed bridge on Friday to show support for his $1 trillion infrastructure plan. Biden was due to visit the city on Friday to present his program. The bridge collapsed just hours before Biden arrived. It temporarily left people and vehicles stranded, but did not cause any fatalities.
Biden spoke with first responders, and he surveyed the space that the bridge covered before it fell to pieces.
Biden spoke by phone to the Pennsylvania Governor. According to Karine Jean-Pierre, principal deputy press secretary at the White House, the bridge collapse in the early hours of the morning was reported by Tom Wolf and Ed Gainey from Pittsburgh. They also offered federal support for cleanup efforts.
She said that “our team is in constant contact with the state and local officials on ground regarding updates and any additional assistance”
Biden used the bridge collapse to illustrate what he declared to be an urgent need to invest in infrastructure.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Bridge Inventory, the steel span was constructed in 1970. A 2019 inspection revealed that the deck and superstructure were in poor condition.
Biden signed the infrastructure law, which has allocated $1.6 billion to Pennsylvania bridge maintenance. Tens of billions more are available for highway maintenance, public transit and broadband internet expansion.
Friday’s visit was the first step in a larger campaign to highlight White House accomplishments in key states prior to the midterm elections. Biden, a Pennsylvanian, was able to return home to one the most targeted states in this cycle. It is expected that the Pennsylvania race to replace Republican Senator Pat Toomey (who is not running for reelection) will be one of this year’s most competitive Senate races.
Two of the top Democrats on Pennsylvania’s state ballot this spring, who were invited to appear alongside Biden, were unable to attend. Their campaigns were confirmed the day before the visit by the president.
Lt. Gov. According to their representatives, John Fetterman (a leading Senate candidate) and Josh Shapiro (the likely Democratic nominee for governor), will not be there due to scheduling conflicts. His office confirmed that another top Senate candidate, Rep. Conor Lamb (a long-time Biden supporter, is attending). They were all invited to take part in a photo-line with the president.
These high-profile absences are coming as Democrats in other states take modest steps to distance their selves from the first-term president, who has seen his approval ratings plummet in recent months. While Fetterman, Shapiro and others indicated that politics did not affect their schedules, the decision to avoid Biden in his home state could raise further concerns among other anxious Democratic candidates as they consider whether to support the struggling president.
Biden made Shapiro three times last summer and autumn when his numbers were higher. Simons stated that the scheduling conflict for the gubernatorial candidate is this time, but did not detail the conflict.
Simons stated that Josh, like every American, wants President Obama to succeed and that he will continue to be welcomed to Pennsylvania by Simons.
Fetterman, the outspoken lieutenant- governor whose campaign headquarters are based in Pittsburgh said that he will miss Biden’s visit to Pittsburgh to attend the Democratic State Committee, which starts Friday evening in Harrisburg.
The scheduling conflicts of leading Pennsylvania Democrats, who are not on this year’s ballot, were not the same. Governor. Tom Wolf, who has a term limit, and Senator Bob Casey, whose term ends in 2024, will be there with Biden.
For vulnerable Democrats, who will be facing voters in 2022, it’s been a different calculation.
Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams (a leading candidate in another swing state for governor) canceled a chance to meet with President Obama earlier in the month. This was due to an unspecified scheduling conflict. In the weeks that followed, many other prominent Democrats have distanced themselves from Biden.
Last week, Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke stated that he did not need the Democratic president’s help in his race for governor.
This week, Rep. StenyHoyer, the No. 3 House Democrat refused to comment on whether the “Biden Democrat” label should be applied to vulnerable Democrats who are on the ballot this fall.
Hoyer stated, “I want every Democrat run as Democrats that deliver,” when Hoyer was asked about “Biden Democrats”.
Biden’s trip to Washington was announced by the White House on Monday, after President Obama said last week that he would seek more freedom in Washington during the second year.
Biden, who saw his poll numbers drop in the face of a unrelenting pandemic, high inflation, and a soaring economy, stated that it was crucial that he “go outside and talk to people” about his accomplishments and why Congress should support his domestic agenda.
According to Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, Biden will be focusing on the economy while in Pittsburgh.
Psaki said that he would be discussing how far the country has come in getting its economy moving again, making more right here, and ensuring that all workers are benefited.