Politico

Richmond says Ida’s impact shows need for infrastructure, climate change legislation


White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond said Sunday that the devastating impact of Hurricane Ida demonstrates why Congress needs to approve pending infrastructure legislation and the administration’s $3.5 trillion mega-spending bill.

“These once-in-a-century storms are starting to come almost every other year,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.“ “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.“

Richmond formerly served as a congressman from Louisiana, where Hurricane Ida made landfall a week ago. Ida subsequently moved north and east, leaving more than 60 people dead as far north as New York and Connecticut.

In discussing the impact of the hurricane, Richmond argued that these two pieces of legislation would help on multiple levels, by upgrading the country’s infrastructure and by fighting climate change.

“The president created this legislation over a year ago. So he was ahead of this. Now we need Congress to come along with us to protect the American people and invest in them,” he told host George Stephanopoulos.

Richmond said he was not discouraged by recent statements by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) expressing opposition to the $3.5 trillion bill.

“It’s not abnormal for this to happen in the legislative process,“ he said.

Speaking immediately after Richmond, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said he expects the bipartisan infrastructure bill will be approved by the Senate, but not the larger spending package.

“They are not connected. We’ll vote on the infrastructure bill which will be voted on its on merits and it’s very meritorious,“ he said, adding of a vote on the second bill: “Hopefully, by that time, cooler heads have prevailed.”

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