Herschel Walker again shows Georgia and the rest of the country that he doesn’t understand how things work. No matter how often he turns up that “gee heck, I’m just a simple country fella” schtick, he is not the person to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate.
In his latest gaffe, Walker took issue with the Inflation Reduction Act, asking if there aren’t enough trees. Like many of Walker’s remarks, his focus on trees is an overly simplistic response to new provisions addressing climate change. How can the public expect him to keep important legislative details straight if he doesn’t know the difference between days of the week, mixing up Sunday night football with Thursday night debates?
Walker claimed that most of the money in the landmark package was earmarked for trees. While trees are the bane of many Georgians’ existence during allergy season, reducing climate change and federal legislation providing more support for increasing tree coverage isn’t the big bad waste of time Walker would have folks believe.
An overlooked area of the federal government’s portfolio, the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program supports having appropriate tree coverage for more than 80 percent of the country’s population. Walker might want to check out the agency’s strategic plan to get better insight into what it does and why.
For someone so worried about other countries taking all of our “good air,” one might think Walker would support nurturing urban forests. Also, given the wildfires that have ravaged communities out west, it’s important to fund wildfire risk reduction programs and other work supported U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.
“Extreme heat is a life or death issue in our cities, thanks to climate change,” said Jad Daley, American Forests president and chief executive officer. “This legislation gets the forestry details right and will have lasting impacts as it helps cities protect their residents from extreme heat.”
If Walker were to enter the Senate, he would represent Georgia, but laws passed would impact everyone across the country. Being flippant about the need for trees is another signal he’s not ready for prime time.
“Planting trees improves air quality, reduces temperatures on hot days, and creates healthier neighborhoods,” said Sen. Cory Booker. “The urban and community forestry investments in the Inflation Reduction Act will empower communities, helping to get more people outside and under the life-saving shade of trees, all while storing more carbon, creating and supporting more jobs, and reducing energy consumption and costs for Americans.”
It’s easy to sit around complaining about what one thinks others aren’t doing instead of proposing alternatives. Claiming the administration has done nothing to address issues impacting working people is laughable when state governments, including Georgia, can tap into money earmarked in last year’s American Rescue Plan. Besides a few one-time gas cards and grocery store vouchers, Walker hasn’t presented plans to alleviate concerns for the average worker and their family.
Funds from the Inflation Reduction Act will also support clean energy projects, which could produce more good-paying jobs for workers. So, Walker can make snide comments about trees, but folks are actually getting stuff done.
Besides “funding trees,” the inflation reduction act reportedly has several cost-saving provisions built into the bill that will benefit tax-payers over the long haul. Republicans have struggled to make a good case for opposing the measure.
Due to Republican opposition and holdouts from his party, expansive economic programs under Build Back Better did not pass out of Congress. But the inflation reduction act attempts to include some of what was previously on the table.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has previously said that he doesn’t think Republicans will take back the Senate due to “quality” issues with candidates.
Meanwhile, Sen. Raphael Warnock is racking up wins for the people of Georgia and has been traveling the state in a “Working for Georgia” tour. He recently unveiled new housing legislation and has met with veterans about the recent legislation he helped pass. In a little over a year, Warnock has made himself an invaluable member of the Senate’s Democratic caucus. Time will tell if that resonates with voters.
With less than 80 days to the election, Herschel Walker’s antics are sure to ramp up. Voters have a choice to make: a Senator who is focused on the issues and needs of the people or someone who repeats cheap talking points for clicks.
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