Biden heads west for a policy victory lap, drawing an implicit contrast with Trump

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden set out Monday on a Western swing aimed at showcasing his work on conservation, clean energy and veterans’ benefits as he seeks to draw an implicit contrast between his administration’s accomplishments and former President Donald Trump’s legal troubles.

Biden’s first stop will be the Grand Canyon area, where on Tuesday he will announce a new national monument to preserve about 1,562 square miles (4,046 square kilometers) around Grand Canyon National Park and limit uranium mining, White House officials said.

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Climate adviser Ali Zaidi told reporters accompanying Biden aboard Air Force One on Monday that the president will designate his fifth national monument during the stop in northern Arizona. He said a dozen tribes had “stepped up” and asked for the monument.

After Arizona, Biden will travel to New Mexico and Utah.

The Democratic president will be in Albuquerque on Wednesday and will talk about how fighting climate change has created new jobs, and he’ll visit Salt Lake City on Thursday to mark the first anniversary of the PACT Act, which provides new benefits to veterans who were exposed to toxic substances. He’ll also hold a reelection fundraiser in each city.

Biden will use the three-night trip to “continue to highlight the progress he’s making across his agenda,” particularly when it comes to climate change, said Natalie Quillian, the White House deputy chief of staff.

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