Fox News sounds alarm about “Schumer bridge” request in pandemic relief bill. The request originated in Trump's DOT.

The bridge was requested during Trump's presidency by the Department of Transportation, led at the time by Secretary Elaine Chao, who is also the wife of Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Fox News has been pushing a fake controversy involving the American Rescue Plan, the Biden administration’s proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, by attacking a $1.5 million provision for the Seaway International Bridge. The bridge connects the Canadian province Ontario with New York state.

Punchbowl News co-founder John Bresnahan reports that in the spring of 2020, the Department of Transportation under Elaine Chao, who is married to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), requested $1.5 million for the bridge. Due to loss of revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Seaway International Bridge Corporation had requested funds from both the Canadian and U.S. governments. Chao was a Fox News contributor and member of the News Corp board before joining the Trump administration.

Despite the fact that this spending provision originated under the Trump administration, Fox News blamed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for the bridge’s funding request and attacked Democrats for supposedly wasteful spending on it. The provision also received condemnation from Republican members of Congress, and Fox provided a platform for them to air their baseless grievance even as the network’s opinion hosts amplified it.

Fox hosts and Republican politicians on Fox News and Fox Business have linked Schumer to the bridge at least 12 times in the last 4 days, claiming it was a “payout” to Schumer.

Fox prime-time host Laura Ingraham called it Schumer’s “$1.5 million giveaway for his pet project.”

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Citation From the February 22, 2021, edition of Fox News' The Ingraham Angle

LAURA INGRAHAM (HOST): So, what are Democrats trying to accomplish with all this fear? Well, they move forward with a COVID relief bill that's mostly a slush fund for political cronies and leftist causes. But if you ask President Biden, every cent of this 1.9 trillion is totally essential. 


PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Critics say the bill is too big. Let me ask them a rhetorical question: What would you have me cut? What would you leave out?


INGRAHAM: Well, since you asked, how about cutting out Chuck Schumer's $1.5 million giveaway to his pet project, which is a bridge from New York to Canada? You could always get rid of $100 million for an underground railroad in Silicon Valley, one of the wealthiest areas of the country, of course. And if you really want to clear the clogged arteries of this bill, well, you can cut the $500 million in pork for what the CBO describes as activities related to the arts, humanities, libraries, museums, and Native American language preservation. What do you think, Joe? 

Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade said the spending provision is an “insult to the American people.”

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Citation From the February 23, 2021, edition of Fox Business' Varney & Co.

BRIAN KILMEADE (FOX & FRIENDS CO-HOST): There's been no scrutiny. I'm not looking forward to the next Joe Biden press conference. I don't think they're going to be impactful. I'm more worried about his next policy that's coming down the pike -- first and foremost would be that $1.9 trillion with only about a third of it going to pandemic relief. That's the scary thing. No tough question is going to change my mind.

STUART VARNEY (HOST): No. But you'll all get your $1,400 per person checks because that's free money, given away by the government, and what politician is going to say no to that? It's not going to happen. You're going to get the checks, guaranteed. Last word to you, I think you got 20 seconds. 

KILMEADE: My last question to you, yeah. The $1400 check, that's a separate debate. Why am I getting a bridge from New York to Buffalo? Why am I getting a subway in San Francisco? Why am I getting funding for museums? Why am I preserving the Native American language and why do you need millions of dollars for that? That is an insult to the American people. You're saying it's an emergency. And you're giving us a bunch of things to make your constituents happy, because you're the majority leader, Chuck Schumer, and you're the speaker, Nancy Pelosi. That's not in our best interests. 

As Fox News routinely does, the network created a fake controversy and then spun it to attack the Biden administration’s effort to provide needed relief to the American people during this pandemic.