Joe Biden pushes infrastructure bill in wake of NYC flooding

0
50
Joe Biden pushes infrastructure bill in wake of NYC flooding

President Biden on Thursday said “the climate crisis” caused deadly New York City flooding from Tropical Storm Ida as he used the disaster to push his $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.

Biden spoke after at least 18 people died in New York and New Jersey, including at least eight people who drowned in flooded basement apartments in Queens and Brooklyn.

“The past few days of Hurricane Ida and the wildfires in the West and the unprecedented flash floods in New York and New Jersey is yet another reminder that these extreme storms and the climate crisis are here,” Biden said in a speech from the White House-adjacent Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

“We need to act. When Congress returns this month, I’m going to press for their action on my Build Back Better plan that’s going to make historic investments in electrical infrastructure, modernizing our roads, bridges, our water systems, sewer and drainage systems, electric grids and transmission lines and make them more resilient to these super storms and wildfires and floods that are going to happen with increasing frequency and ferocity.”

Biden spoke with Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) overnight about the flooding but in his public remarks addressed the New York-area death toll only in passing and also mentioned wildfires in California and flooding and electricity outages in Louisiana when Hurricane Ida swept ashore,

President Joe Biden.
President Joe Biden said he would press Congress on his Build Back Better plan, saying that storms from Hurricane Ida and the California wildfires are a “reminder that these extreme storms and the climate crisis are here.”
Evan Vucci/AP

“People were trapped in the subways, but the heroic men and women of the New York Fire Department rescued all of them,” Biden said.

“For now, 11 people in New York and New Jersey died because of the storm. And I want to express my heartfelt thanks to all the first responders.”

Biden is scheduled to tour hurricane damage in Louisiana on Friday. He has not yet announced plans to visit the New York area.

Flooding outside a bodega.
A homeless man stands in the doorway of a deli during flash flooding caused by Ida.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA
Car in floodwaters.
A vehicle drives through a flooded expressway in Brooklyn.
Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate last month voted 69-30 to pass a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that includes $110 billion for roads and bridges, $73 billion for electric grid and power infrastructure and resilience, $55 billion for water infrastructure, $39 billion for public transportation, $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations and $5 billion to buy electric and low-emission buses.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has not yet held a vote on final passage of the bill as Democrats seek leverage to also pass a secondary $3.5 trillion bill without Republican support using special budget reconciliation rules.

The second package faces resistance from Democratic moderates and would include many items that didn’t make the cut into the bipartisan bill, including more money for renewable energy initiatives, free preschool and community college classes and new subsidies for home health care and childcare.

Person on a gurney by an ambulance.
A woman is transported on a stretcher after being rescued from her home in a boat by first responders in Mamaroneck, New York.
Mike Segar/REUTERS
Truck drives through flooded street.
At least 18 people died in New York and New Jersey, including eight people who drowned in flooded basement apartments in Queens and Brooklyn.
Paul Martinka

Source link