Transportation Secretary Buttigieg visits Port Tampa Bay

Port Tampa Bay is not only receiving a significant-sized federal grant, but the country's transportation secretary also came for a visit.

Tuesday, Secretary Pete Buttigieg stopped by Port Tampa Bay to talk about a $12.6 million grant from the president's bipartisan infrastructure law. 

The $12.6 million infrastructure grant, called "RAISE," is aimed at adding capacity at the port, creating 800 full-time jobs and reducing emissions at the Port Redwing facility – which handles construction materials, agricultural and phosphate products, heavy machinery, and other cargo. 

Buttigieg said spending millions on infrastructure will put people to work and help drive down inflation.

"Part of the fight against inflation is to make sure the supply side of the economy can keep up," said Buttigieg. "Remember, we have extraordinary demand right now. People are buying goods. They’re booking trips"

Tampa is one of several cities where Buttigieg and others from the administration are touting the president’s infrastructure and inflation reduction package amid high inflation and mixed poll numbers.

"I know it’s easier to get attention with a fanatical tweet or some kind of culture war controversy, but we’re here to build things," Buttigeig told reporters. 

A couple of weeks ago, Rep. Kathy Castor described the port as the "lifeblood" in the community, and expanding it will help make sure the economy is running smoothly.

"There were a lot of, ‘What does this mean? When is the money going to arrive?' Well, this is the first of many grants that will come to Port Tampa Bay to modernize the operations," she said at the time.

READ: Marco Rubio pushes to deepen Port Tampa Bay to ease supply chain woes

Port Tampa Bay has been getting a lot of attention lately from both sides of the aisle. At the end of last month, Sen. Marco Rubio visited, saying it is critical for the U.S. and its allies to step up manufacturing, especially at ports, while simultaneously diversifying its shipping industry.

Sen. Rubio said Port Tampa Bay could play a key role in that.