Devastation of Hurricane Ida shows need for big infrastructure spending

Washington DC - The devastation caused by Hurricane Ida shows the need for President Joe Biden’s sweeping infrastructure plans, a top White House aide said on Sunday.

Streets in New Jersey were completely flooded as Hurricane Ida wrought havoc across multiple states.
Streets in New Jersey were completely flooded as Hurricane Ida wrought havoc across multiple states.  © IMAGO / NurPhoto

The sweeping $3.5 trillion infrastructure package being finalized by Democratic lawmakers will make critical investments in building resilience, shoring up the nation’s power grid and battling climate change, senior Biden adviser Cedric Richmond told ABC’s This Week.

"These once-in-a-century storms are starting to come almost every other year," Richmond said. "They’re bigger, stronger. They wreak more havoc."

"If you look at New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, people should see what climate change is doing. We’re going to address that in our legislation."

With the Senate in Democratic control by a razor-thin margin of one vote because of Vice President Kamala Harris, all eyes have been on the role of Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Last week, the moderate Democrat called on party leaders to put the infrastructure spending on a "strategic pause," citing concerns about rising inflation.

But Richmond played down Manchin’s comments, saying: "It’s not abnormal for this to happen in the legislative process."

Democrats have been juggling a $1 trillion bill focused on roads, bridges, and the modernization of other infrastructure along with the $3.5 trillion package that includes "human infrastructure" like universal preschool as well as cutting carbon emissions and other climate change mitigation.

"The president created this legislation over a year ago," Richmond said. "So he was ahead of this."

"Now we need Congress to come along with us to protect the American people and invest in them."

Cover photo: IMAGO / NurPhoto

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