President Biden on Wednesday said he would welcome a potential Republican investigation into the federal government’s response to deadly wildfires in Maui after he laid out what his administration has done to help the island recover.
Biden, delivering remarks from the White House about the Maui wildfires and Hurricane Idalia, was asked by a reporter about House Republicans’ plans to probe the response to the fires in particular.
Biden suggested House Republicans “should go out and talk to every elected official, from the mayors, to the governors, to United States senators” about the situation in Maui.
Hawaii Gov. Josh Green (D) and Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) have repeatedly thanked Biden for his administration’s response to the fires on Maui, which killed more than 100 people and destroyed swaths of the island.
The president said Wednesday that the White House would spend $95 million to help strengthen Hawaii’s electrical grid in the wake of the wildfires, and he vowed the federal government would support rebuilding efforts in a way consistent with traditions on Maui.
The House Oversight and Accountability Committee announced this week that it would launch an investigation into the federal response on Maui. The move came days after Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) first floated a potential probe, saying he was “very concerned about the response.”
Republicans widely criticized Biden for waiting to visit Maui, though the president said he did not want to travel to the island while it could impede rescue and recovery efforts. Biden also addressed the fires at the top of remarks multiple times while traveling in the days after the fires, despite GOP criticism that he did not weigh in on the disaster.
Biden visited Maui last week to tour the devastation and meet with community members and local leaders.
Source: The Hill