Vice President Kamala Harris plans to visit a San Bernardino fire station on Friday to announce that the federal government will provide California with $600 million to help the state recover from a historically severe wildfire season while making plans highlights plans to spend an additional $5 billion to combat the dangers of fire. said an administrator.
The event is part of the Biden administration’s effort to unveil a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill that the president signed into law in November. President Biden said during a press conference marking his first year in office on Wednesday that given low poll numbers and recent setbacks on his agenda, including this week’s failure to pass a major vote, he wanted to spend more time selling the administration’s gaining rights Bill championed by Harris.
Harris’ speech in San Bernardino will be the first to mention the $5 billion infrastructure bill allocation to help fight, prevent and prepare for wildfires. Last year’s wildfire season was among the worst in California history, with fires scorching nearly 2.6 million acres.
Harris plans to spend the weekend at her home in Los Angeles and then speak Monday in Milwaukee about the government’s plans to replace lead plumbing, another issue that will get a spending boost from the infrastructure bill.
The $600 million in disaster funds, part of a national commitment to spend $1.3 billion, will be used by local communities to clean up hazardous materials, restore forests and repair infrastructure damaged by wildfires, he said an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity for the preview of Harris’s speech.
Harris, who was born in California and has spent most of her career there, has tried to position herself as a wildfire administrator. While serving in the Senate, she authored legislation creating grants for low-income and high-risk communities to get help preventing fires. Such grants have made it into the Infrastructure Act and are designed to help communities make plans and remove buffers between cities and forests. Harris has also discussed using satellite technology to track fire risks and active fires.
In her speech on Friday, she intends to make a link between climate change and conditions that have made fires more frequent and ferocious, the official said. For example, some of the money in the bill will go towards landscaping programs aimed at withstanding drought and protecting wildlife habitats.
The government calls this part of its two-pronged approach to climate change. But Biden hasn’t had as much success tackling the second, pricier approach, aimed at preventing a rise in temperature.
His $1.8 trillion signature plan would have earmarked money for a variety of social spending and environmental programs. It died last month when Democratic Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia said he would not support it. With all 50 Republican senators opposed to the plan, Biden needs the support of all 50 Democrats and independents.
Biden said Wednesday he hopes to revive at least part of his plan, citing environmental and energy spending in particular.
https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-01-20/kamala-harris-wildfire-money-visit-california Kamala Harris announces wildfire money on visit to California