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New Mexico governor embraces US law on climate, health care

Wildfires New Mexico
Brittany Peterson/AP
FILE - An excavator piles charred debris alongside floodwaters choked with ash at the Gallinas River, on Aug. 9, 2022, in Gallinas, N.M. More than four grueling months and $300 million later, the federal government has declared the largest wildfire in New Mexico's recorded history 100% contained, a notable milestone but just another step in what local residents and officials say will be a long journey toward recovery. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson, File)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The governor of New Mexico is using a visit to Washington to celebrate Democrats' flagship U.S. climate and health care bill and to advocate for addition federal wildfire relief.

Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she was traveling to Tuesday's celebration of the Inflation Reduction Act at the invitation of President Biden.

Signed in August, the law could save money for some Americans by lessening the cost of prescription drugs for the elderly, extending health insurance subsidies and reducing energy prices.

The legislation represents Congress' largest ever investment in curbing carbon emissions. It would also modestly cut the government's budget deficit.

Also in Washington, the 62-year-old governor and skiing enthusiast will consult with with an orthopedic surgeon about a lingering knee injury.

Campaign related activities in Washington and New York are scheduled before the Lujan Grisham's planned return to New Mexico on Friday.

Lujan Grisham is seeking a second term in the November general election against Republican nominee and former television meteorologist Mark Ronchetti.

Ronchetti is campaigning on proposals for a permanent annual tax rebate tied oilfield production, new restrictions on abortion access and enhanced criminal penalties to address crime.

The two candidates boasted Monday of collecting a combined $5 million in direct campaign contributions for the two month period ending Sept. 5.

New Mexico is reeling from serious of catastrophic wildfires during the spring and early summer that have been followed by debris-choked flooding with the arrival of seasonal monsoon rains.

One fire — the largest in state history — was traced to a prescribed burn by the U.S. Forest Service outside Las Vegas, N.M., that escaped control and dry, windy conditions.