President Joe Biden lands in Utah

The President will speak about the benefits of the Pact Act for military veterans and attend a lucrative fundraiser in Park City.

President Joe Biden speaks Wednesday, August 9, 2023 at the Arcosa Wind Towers in Belen, New Mexico. Biden argues that his policies of financial and fiscal stimulus have revived US manufacturing. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Joe Biden landed in Utah on Wednesday afternoon for a one-day visit to the state, his first as president. Biden’s arrival came hours after federal agents in Provo shot dead a man who, according to court documents, had threatened to kill the president.

Air Force One landed at about 4:25 p.m. at the Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base adjacent to Salt Lake City International Airport. While the White House has not confirmed where Biden would be spending the night, security barriers and police were in place around the Monaco Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City on Wednesday.

On Thursday morning, the commander in chief will visit the Veteran Affairs Health Center in Salt Lake City to mark the first anniversary of the PACT Act. Also known as Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, the law extended benefits to military veterans harmed by exposure to toxic burn pits at military posts worldwide.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Heavy machinery is at work for President Biden’s visit to the Kimpton Hotel Monaco on Wednesday, August 9, 2023.

Later in the day, the President will attend a high-priced fundraiser for his re-election campaign in Park City. Tickets range from $3,300 to $100,000. Anyone who donates $50,000 will have the opportunity to speak to the President and have their photo taken with him. Sponsors are Mark and Nancy Gilbert and John and Kristi Cumming. Mark Gilbert is a former US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. The Cummings own Powdr Corp., which owns ski resorts in the US and Canada, including Snowbird.

The visit to Utah is the final leg of a three-state West switch for the president, who defeated incumbent Donald Trump in 2020, and faces a potential rematch next year.

Biden was in Arizona on Tuesday to announce his appointment to Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument. Just across the Utah state line in an area called the Arizona Strip, the memorial was sought after by 13 Native American tribes in the area and is designed to stop the mining of uranium deposits.

As with previous namings, the announcement prompted complaints from Utah politicians, including Gov. Spencer Cox, that the monument naming should not be by executive branch order, but by acts of Congress in consultation with local leaders. Utah ranchers also feared that the designation would restrict their grazing rights in the area, but grazing will still be permitted in the monument.

The next stop was New Mexico, where he promoted government efforts to create clean energy jobs through the Inflation Reduction Act and “Bidenomics,” the Sante Fe New Mexican reported.

A Provo man died early Wednesday while the FBI was attempting to serve a warrant. The warrant was issued after a man tweeted about Biden’s Utah trip and added that he was “cleaning the dust off the M24 sniper rifle.”

Justin Scaccy

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