Wilmington, Del. President Joe Biden will promote the use of his administration’s Defense Production Act to aid in wildfire preparation during a western swing in which he surveys wildfire damage in Idaho and California.
By helping ease supply chain issues affecting the agency’s primary firehose supplier, the administration activated a wartime provision in early August to boost the supply of fire hoses for the U.S. Forest Service. This marks the second use of the wartime law, when the president used it to boost the supply of vaccines, and the administration had not publicly announced it before.
The 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 the supplies needed to produce and ship the 415 mile firehose. Biden plans to showcase the move as part of wider commentary on the work his administration has taken to address another devastating wildfire season in the western US.
The president plans to deliver remarks Monday during a visit to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, and then travel to Sacramento, California, where he will survey the damage caused by the wildfires. He will end the day in Long Beach for an election eve event with California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, who will face a recall vote on Tuesday.
Biden’s trip west is primarily aimed at garnering support for his massive $3.5 trillion spending plan, linked to extinguishing wildfires and upgrading social programs.
In a two-day visit, which includes a stop in Colorado on Tuesday, Biden seeks to connect the dots for Americans about the increasing frequency of wildfires in the West as well as other extreme weather events across the country — and investment. Billions of dollars in coping with the climate crisis as well as vast expansion of the social safety net.
His eleventh-hour pitch on Monday in California comes a day before voters go to the polls to decide whether to recall Newsom and then replace him with Republican and talk-show host Larry Elder, who has been named as Newsom’s leader. The dominant GOP is seen as the alternative, or any of the dozens of other candidates on the ballot.
The White House is trying to turn the corner after a rough month consumed by a chaotic and violent withdrawal from Afghanistan and a growing delta version of what the president had hoped would mark a summer in which the nation was finally free from the coronavirus. happened.
Over the weekend, Biden acknowledged that his polling numbers have declined in recent weeks, but argued that his agenda is “highly popular” with Americans. He said he hoped his Republican opponents would try to attack him instead of debating the merits of his spending plan.
“You’re going to see — and I get it — a lot of direct attacks on me, not what I’m for,” Biden told reporters on Saturday. “I’m a big boy. I’ve been doing this for a long time.”
In addition to the Republican opposition, Biden still needs to clear the doubts of two leading centrist Democrats in the closely divided Senate. Sense Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kirsten Cinemas of Arizona have expressed concern about the size of the $3.5 trillion spending package.
Climate provisions in Biden’s budget include tax incentives for clean energy and electric vehicles, investments to shift the economy away from fossil fuels and toward renewable sources such as wind and solar power, and the creation of a civilian climate corps.
The president is due to travel to Denver on Tuesday to continue his economic agenda.
A stop in Idaho, a state he lost by more than 30 percentage points last year, would offer Biden a deep-red background to argue that investing in tackling the climate crisis should be a priority across party lines. . Idaho and California have turned wildfire season into a year-long crisis.
In June the Biden administration laid out a strategy to tackle the growing wildfire threat, including hiring more federal firefighters and implementing new techniques to detect and deal with fires quickly. Last month, the president approved a disaster declaration for California, providing federal aid for counties affected by the Dixie and River fires. Just before Monday’s visit he issued another disaster declaration for the state, this time aimed at the areas affected by the Caldor fire.
Biden recently traveled to New York, New Jersey and Louisiana to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Ida. He declared it a “code red” moment to act on the climate for the nation during a visit to a New York City neighborhood affected by Ida.
“Friends, the evidence is clear: climate change poses a potential threat to our lives, to our economy,” he said during a visit to New York. “And here is the danger; It’s not going to get any better. Question: Could it be bad? We can stop it from getting worse.”