Maryland’s U.S. senators are continuing their push to have the federal government pay the entire cost of rebuilding the Francis Scott Key Bridge, calling on their colleagues to pass legislation to authorize the spending.

Typically in emergency response funding, the federal government will foot a significant portion of disaster relief projects, usually about 80% to 90%, with the state on the hook for the remainder. Federal authorities will give the state the remainder of the needed funds with the agreement it will be paid back.

But Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, both Democrats, are asking their colleagues in Congress to pay the entirety, arguing at a Senate hearing Wednesday that the scope and scale of the Key Bridge disaster warrants a full payment.

The bridge collapsed March 26 when a container ship leaving the Port of Baltimore lost propulsion and crashed into a support pier. The whole sequence took seconds to unfold, a total structural failure. Six construction workers who were repairing potholes on the roadway died as a result. For weeks the port, one of America’s busiest, was closed as the Army Corps of Engineers worked to clear debris and reopen the shipping channel.

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“We need to act quickly,” Cardin said Wednesday. “We need to know the certainty of the federal share, and let me just point out, we are asking for 100% because that’s what we’ve done in the past.”

“It has been a tradition in the United States of America of providing 100% support for states that have undergone this kind of tragedy,” Van Hollen added.

The senators pointed to the 2007 collapse of the Interstate 35W Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis as a time when Congress paid the full cost to rebuild the structure of about $250 million.

The Key Bridge replacement will cost much more. Estimates peg the rebuild as costing upward of $1.7 billion. President Joe Biden has also said he wants the federal government to pay the full cost for the new bridge.

Van Hollen and Cardin’s Republican counterparts appeared to hesitate at the Democrats’ demands. Sen. Shelley Capito, a Republican from neighboring West Virginia and the ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, pointed out that not every emergency has the cost sharing agreement waived, and that there’s significant backlog on emergency relief projects around the country.

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One sticking point for Republicans was whether the replacement bridge will also be a toll-collecting facility, in turn generating revenue that could be used to pay Maryland’s share of the rebuilding costs. The Key Bridge collected about $56 million in tolls in the most recent fiscal year.

“If Congress does not require Maryland to share in the cost of a project like the replacement of the Key Bridge, which will have a revenue source, how can Congress require any other recipient of [emergency] program funding to pay their cost share?” Capito said.

Van Hollen and Cardin’s bill would not completely stop the federal government from recouping money sent to Maryland. If passed, the bill would direct all insurance payouts and monies from court settlements meant for state government to be sent to federal coffers, which would effectively replace the cost sharing lost under the traditional emergency funding mechanisms.

Maryland had a $350 million insurance policy on the Key Bridge, and the court case against the shipping company is expected to be the largest maritime disaster claim in American history.