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