President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris kicked off the second round of their Investing in America tours on Thursday, July 6, with climate control concerns highlighting their common theme. While Biden boasted of what his administration has done and how Bidenomics has helped the country, Harris focused on the needs of Native Americans.
Biden in South Carolina
While in South Carolina, the president said the COVID pandemic caused a lot of issues with the supply chain systems and that he wanted to encourage “Make in America” initiatives by building alliances across the world, Greenville News reported. Biden’s plan also involves creating cleaner energy. To that end, he announced a partnership between solar energy equipment supplier Enphase Energy and manufacturer Flex.
Enphase Energy promised more than $60 million to invest in opening six US manufacturing lines, two of which will be built in South Carolina. The White House said in a press release that this would create up to 1,800 new jobs, 600 of which would be in the Palmetto State, and that companies have “committed over $500 billion in manufacturing and clean energy investments in the United States” since Biden took office.
The president credited job growth and the reduction of inflation to legislation he pushed, such as the Inflation Reduction Act and infrastructure package. He also claims these measures have made it possible for companies like Enphase Energy to start clean energy manufacturing in the US.
Last year, Biden signed the Science Act and CHIPS, which is supposed to help increase semiconductor manufacturing in the US so that Americans aren’t forced to rely on China for technology. He made a point of saying every South Carolina Republican in Congress voted against the Inflation Reduction Act and, except for Sen. Lindsey Graham, also rejected the Infrastructure and CHIPS acts. Biden joked “that SC Republicans agreed with that notion because they continued to take credit for the federal dollars that are coming in,” Greenville News wrote.
The commander-in-chief talked about Bidenomics and how it is “rooted in what always worked best for this country: investing in America. Because when you invest in our people, when you strengthen the middle class, we see stronger economic growth that benefits everybody.”
Before Biden’s stop in South Carolina, the SC Freedom Caucus issued a statement that read:
“President Biden and the ‘Republican’ establishment in Columbia have failed the Palmetto State by putting the interest of climate activists ahead of the needs of South Carolinians. Bidenomics has done nothing to help hardworking South Carolinians. Instead, Biden’s tax-and-spend playbook brought us record inflation, a looming recession, soaring gas prices, and sky-high grocery bills.”
Harris in Arizona
Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Grand Canyon State to spend time in Phoenix and the Gila River Community. In April, the Gila River community said it was getting federal funds to conserve water, including $83 million from the Infrastructure Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.
At least part of the funding will be used for a pipeline to move water from the reservation to the Pima-Maricopa Irrigation Project Facility. The project is expected to be finished by the end of 2024. Water accessibility has been an issue in the area since the Gila River was diverted upstream back in the late 1800s, leaving the Pima and Maricopa peoples and their thousands of acres of farmland without sufficient water. While there, Harris took the opportunity to address how climate change affects Native communities:
“In order to create enduring solutions to the climate crisis, we must then rely on the knowledge and the experience of Native communities. And that is why we are investing billions of dollars to help fund Native-led — not Native-consulted — Native-led, climate-resilient infrastructure projects.”
Last month, the Supreme Court upheld the Indian Child Welfare ACT (ICWA) with prioritizes keeping native children in foster care or those up for adoption with native families on tribal lands. The VP applauded the Court for its decision while also hinting that things could change:
“So I celebrate, as we all do, what happened at the Court. But when you read closely the attacks and how the Court ruled, let’s be fully aware of not only the essential protection that ICWA provides but also understand that whatever gains we make will not be permanent if we’re not vigilant. So while we applaud the Supreme Court’s decision, I am very clear-eyed: We know this will not be the last threat to this very important law. And we must continue to work together, and we will work with Native leaders to safeguard the protections of ICWA.”
Harris promised the Biden administration would continue to support Native Americans and their rights: “President Joe Biden and I believe that the bonds between our nations are sacred. And we believe we have a duty to safeguard and strengthen those bonds, to uphold our trust and treaty obligations, to honor Tribal sovereignty, and to ensure Tribal self-determination.”
This second round of Investing in America tour is expected to last for three weeks and will include visits to 20 states.
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