(NEW YORK) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday continued his tour of damage caused by Hurricane Ida, traveling to New York and New Jersey to see first-hand the devastation the massive storm inflicted on the Northeast.
The president will reprise his role as consoler in chief, meeting with local leaders to get a briefing on the damage to the area, and touring a neighborhood in Manville, New Jersey, before heading to Queens in New York to tour the damage there, and deliver remarks.
“He will receive an update on recovery efforts and underscore the commitment to providing the federal government’s full support for communities impacted by the storm,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki previewed.
“He’ll also meet with families and first responders to hear firsthand about the devastation,” she added.
Biden will be joined by FEMA Administrator Criswell, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, and members of New York and New Jersey’s congressional delegations. While on the ground, the president will make the case for his $1 trillion infrastructure bill that recently passed the Senate with bipartisan support, in addition to a $3.5 trillion social spending bill that comprises his ‘build back better’ agenda — arguing that the extreme weather events affecting the country highlight the need for major investments.
“The average cost of extreme weather are getting bigger, and no one is immune from climate change. That’s what you’ll hear him talk about in his remarks today, as well as his belief, based on a lot of data and studies, that every dollar that we invest saves $6 down the road in these communities as we’re preparing for extreme weather events,” Psaki told reporters on the way to New Jersey Tuesday.
“He’ll also make the case as to why this is the reason, one of the reasons, as we’re looking at these extreme weather events around the country, that it’s so imperative we act on addressing the climate crisis and investing in — addressing those through his Build Back Better agenda, which is working its way through Congress.”
Tuesday’s trip follows the president’s trip to Louisiana’s gulf coast Friday where Hurricane Ida made landfall, where he made similar arguments for his policy proposals currently working their way through Congress.
“Things are changing so drastically in terms of the environment,” the president said Friday. “We’ve already crossed certain thresholds. We can’t build back a road, a highway, a bridge or anything to what it was before. I mean, you got to build back to what it is now, what’s needed now.”
The White House has continued to highlight the federal response to the devastating storm that has claimed the lives of at least 68 people across 8 states. Over the weekend, President Biden approved emergency declarations for New York and New Jersey to provide federal aid to the recovery efforts in impacted areas.
“This was a historic storm, deadly. Tragically the loss of 27 lives, four still missing, small businesses, and roadways, and in some cases schools. First responders were extraordinarily heroic, but there is a significant loss associated with this storm. We’ll do all that we can in the state, but we need the federal government in a big way,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in an interview with CBS News on Sunday.
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