On Wednesday, a virtual summit meeting hosted by Joe Biden’s White House noticeably refused to invite a single Republican governor and spoke only with Democrats, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
As wildfire season continues, the summit featured only seven governors in total, from the states of California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming; all are Democrats except for the governors of Utah and Wyoming. Left off the invite list were the governors of Arizona, Idaho, and Montana, who are all Republicans. It has been noted that of the 10 major wildfires currently burning throughout the western United States, 6 of them are taking place across those three states.
In response to the partisan snub, Governors Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) and Brad Little (R-Idaho) sent a letter to Biden, saying that they “were disappointed to learn not all western states who face a harsh wildfire season will be at the table. It is critical to engage governors fully and directly to have a productive discussion about how the federal government can improve its wildfire response and prevention efforts.”
Also not invited to the meeting was Governor Mike Dunleavy (R-Alaska), also a Republican. In response to being shut out of the meeting, Dunleavy commented that “We don’t exist to Biden.”
This incident only marks the latest example of Biden’s pattern of refusing to meet with Republican governors, and even using the power of the federal government to hinder such governors’ efforts to run their own states. This marks a stark contrast to President Donald Trump’s more bipartisan approach, as the 45th President frequently met with Democratic governors in times of emergency, including California’s Gavin Newsom during the wildfire season in the state last year.