Biden blasts Trump, ‘MAGA Republicans in Congress’ over climate change denial

President Biden highlighted the stakes of the 2024 presidential election and warned a second Trump administration would roll back Biden administration climate actions at a press briefing Tuesday announcing new proposed heat protections for workers.

Speaking at the federal Emergency Operations Center in Washington, D.C., Biden announced the first federal extreme-heat standards for workers, which include mandatory access to shade and water for workers exposed to extreme heat, as well as requirements that employers develop emergency response plans.

The president also used the announcement to castigate congressional Republicans for uniformly opposing the Inflation Reduction Act and for minimizing the impact or existence of climate change. Former President Trump has falsely claimed climate change is a “hoax,” and while other leading Republicans have seldom outright denied its existence, they have called for a rollback of Biden administration climate policies and opposed efforts to transition away from fossil fuels, the primary generator of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Unfortunately, my predecessor and the MAGA Republicans in Congress are trying to undo all this progress,” Biden said. “They still deny climate change even exists. They must be living in a hole somewhere, at the expense of the health and safety of their own constituents.”

“I quite frankly think it’s not only outrageous, it’s really stupid. Everyone who willfully denies the impacts of climate change is condemning the American people to a dangerous future. They’re either really, really dumb, or has some other motive … how can you deny there’s climate change?” he continued.

The new standards for workers come as record temperatures have affected much of the U.S. The administration has floated federal heat protections since 2021 but first made the proposal official Tuesday. Between 2011 and 2021, the most recent year available, extreme heat exposure caused the deaths of 436 workers, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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