President Joe Biden on Monday argued for his $3.5 trillion spending plan by pointing to wildfires burning through the Western states. He was speaking at Boise, Idaho, while visiting the National Interagency Fire Center.
Biden called the year-round fires and other extreme weather a climate change reality the nation can no longer ignore.
“The reality is we have a global warming problem, a serious global warming problem, and it's consequential and what's going to happen is, things are not going to go back," Biden was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.
Biden is on a two-day trip, which includes a stop in Colorado on Tuesday. Through this trip, the President is looking to justify a need to invest billions in combating climate change by connecting the dots for Americans between the increasing frequency of wildfires in the West and other extreme weather events around the country and his plans.
The President argued for spending today to lessen the future effects of climate change, as he did during recent stops in Louisiana, New York, and New Jersey. All these states had suffered millions of dollars in flood damage and scores of deaths following Hurricane Ida.
In Idaho, Biden claimed that every dollar invested in “resilience” will save $6 down the road.
He also spoke about the administration's use in early August of a wartime law to boost supplies of firehoses from the US Forest Service's primary supplier.
“My message to you is, when we build back, we have to build back better. It is not a Democrat thing. It is not a Republican thing. It is a weather thing. It is a reality. It is serious and we can do this,” the US President said.
The administration's use of the Defense Production Act helped an Oklahoma City nonprofit called NewView Oklahoma, which provides the bulk of the US Forest Service’s hoses, obtain needed supplies to produce and ship 415 miles of firehoses.
Biden is on his first trip to the west in office. He flew first to Boise, and afterward planned to stop in Sacramento, California, to survey wildfire damage and deliver remarks about the federal response.
He will be ending the day in Long Beach for an election-eve event with California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, who faces a recall vote on Tuesday,
Biden’s Western visit is aimed primarily at drumming up support for his massive $3.5 trillion spending plan by linking it to beating back wildfires and upgrading social programs.