President Biden traveled on Monday to donor-rich California, where he unveiled billions in new federal spending to help coastal communities across the country combat climate change and rising sea levels.
The president’s trip to Palo Alto, located just outside San Francisco, came as the incumbent Democrat tries to swoon wealthy climate and tech donors in the Golden State for his 2024 reelection campaign.
“We’re taking the most aggressive climate action ever,” Mr. Biden said in a speech to supporters and activists gathered at a coastal wetland area in Palo Alto. “It’s focused on mitigation — which means historic investments in developing clean energy by reducing dependence on fossil fuel — and resilience — which means communities can better withstand the impacts of climate change and extreme weather.”
As part of major laws passed during his tenure, Mr. Biden announced the Commerce Department this week will begin making available $600 million for coastal communities to fight the impacts of climate change and the Department of Energy will spend more than $2 billion to start modernizing the nation’s electric power grid, including $67 million for California.
The money is part of the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law and Democrats’ tax-and-climate spending package known as the Inflation Reduction Act.
Citing House Republicans’ unsuccessful attempts to roll back much of the Inflation Reduction Act’s $370 billion in clean energy spending during recent debt-limit negotiations, Mr. Biden took the opportunity to take a victory lap and revisit a favorite talking point about “MAGA Republicans.”
SEE ALSO: Biden’s green energy agenda suffers scores of Democratic defectors
“Unfortunately, some of our MAGA Republican friends in Congress are continuing to try to undo all the progress we’ve already made in the first two and a half years,” the president said. “In the end, we didn’t just protect some of the climate money and clean energy provisions. We protected every single solitary one. This ain’t your father’s Republican Party.”
Mr. Biden went on to describe climate change as “the existential threat to humanity” to make the case that his green energy agenda must be expanded.
But as 2024 approaches, there’s growing evidence that moderate Democrats on Capitol Hill facing tough reelections don’t agree. Mr. Biden’s green agenda has suffered scores of Democratic defectors during congressional votes in recent months, according to a new Washington Times analysis.
Dozens of Democrats have voted more than once this year to buck Mr. Biden on Republican-led measures, while several of them have sided repeatedly with their GOP colleagues.
Two Democrats have opposed virtually every one of Mr. Biden’s green energy policies when it came time to vote: Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Rep. Jared Golden of Maine.
Mr. Golden has cast at least 11 votes, including those to override Mr. Biden’s vetoes, against the president’s green energy regulations. Mr. Manchin has voted eight times against Mr. Biden’s policies.
Four other Democrats also have rebuffed Mr. Biden on several occasions. Reps. Henry Cuellar and Vicente Gonzalez of Texas have each defected seven times, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez of Washington six times, and Sen. Jon Tester of Montana three times.
Mr. Biden is banking on the Democratic stronghold of California to help buoy his campaign coffers, with four fundraisers planned in the state this week alone. He was joined at his climate speech by Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, who recently decided not to launch a primary challenge against the president.
“The worsening impacts [of climate change] are not inevitable. My administration is doing all we can to help recover and build so we can be prepared and adapt,” Mr. Biden said. “It’s all part of my ‘Investment in America’ agenda the governor was referencing. It starts with the most significant climate investment law ever, anywhere in the history of the world.”
The president attended the first of two fundraisers Monday in Los Gatos co-hosted by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Kevin Scott and his wife, Shannon Hunt-Scott. On Tuesday, a third fundraiser will be held for Mr. Biden by tech, climate and private equity entrepreneurs.
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