Joe Biden is hosting the French President at the White House this week and celebrating with a big fancy feast. But after taking a look at what was on the menu, one Democrat Congressman is fuming.
Joe Biden is hosting his first state diner with the president of France to highlight the two nations longstanding alliance.
200 Maine lobsters were shipped out of the state and sent to the White House in advance of Thursday’s state dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat from the state’s 2nd Congressional District, found the move tone deaf.
“If the Biden White House can prioritize purchasing 200 Maine lobsters for a fancy dinner, @POTUS should also take the time to meet with the Maine lobstermen his administration is currently regulating out of business,” the Democrat representative wrote on Twitter regarding the meal.
As early as Biden began his term, he signed an executive order removing former President Donald Trump’s executive order on regulations, which caused Maine lobstermen to fear they would be affected. This appears to have caused a problem between the Biden administration and Maine’s lobster industry.
For years, concerns have existed about such regulations, which are supposedly intended to protect right whales.
Whales in the Gulf of Maine are vulnerable to entanglement in nets and other gear, so Maine’s lobstermen are currently engaged in a heated legal battle with environmental interests.
The New York Post notes that even Whole Foods announced last month that it would stop selling Maine lobster due to the environmental concerns.
Golden is not the only one who opposes the regulations. In addition to him, there has been bipartisan concern as well.
Gov. Janet T. Mills, a Democrat, wrote earlier this year to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo requesting the administration extend the deadline for lobstermen to use specific gear, as it is particularly scarce. They were joined by Rep. Golden, Chellie Pingree, also a Democrat, and Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, the former a Republican, and the latter an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats.
It is pretty bad when a Democrat is calling out Joe Biden for his tone deafness. Maine lobstermen are currently engaged in a heated legal battle with not only environmental interests but the federal government, and their jobs are on the line. Rep. Jared Golden found it deeply troubling that 200 Maine lobsters were shipped out of state to be served at a White House dinner while the men who caught them are fighting for their livelihoods. This is not the first time Biden has been tone-deaf on this issue–as soon as he took office, he signed an executive order removing former President Donald Trump’s regulations without considering the effect it would have on lobstermen. If Biden wants to save face with this constituency, he needs to apologize and do everything in his power to preserve their jobs.
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