MIAMI (CBSMiami) – White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest spoke out Wednesday about a number of issues including the upcoming hurricane season, re-establishing relations with Cuba, immigration reform and Medicaid expansion.READ MORE: Recent Study Showed Vast Majority Of Shoppers Misinterpret Food Date Labels
“The president decided this year he should travel to the National Hurricane Center so he could get a first person briefing on the upcoming hurricane season,” Earnest told CBS4’s Eliott Rodriguez.
Earnest said the president wants to meet with local officials who may come calling in the event a hurricane hits South Florida.
“He wants to make sure that state and local officials continue to be in close contact with federal officials who are responsible for supporting them in the event of a hurricane situation,” said Earnest.
During his visit, the president may get an earful on his efforts to re-establish relations with Cuba just 90 miles away.READ MORE: Barry University Holds In-Person Commencement Ceremony At loanDepot park
“The president is hopeful that by promoting greater engagement between our two countries and our two people we can have a great impact on the Cuban government and put pressure on them,” said Earnest.
Rodriguez asked, “Josh, you’ve been quoted as saying the president has expressed an interest in visiting Cuba, What has he specifically said about visiting Cuba?”
Earnest responded, “The president would like to have the opportunity to travel to Cuba. I don’t know if it’s going to happen before the end of his presidency, but he certainly would enjoy the opportunity to visit the island, to visit Havana and visit the people of Cuba.”
Rodriguez then asked, “What happens to immigration reform now that the president’s executive actions have been blocked by the courts?”
“Well Eliott, there are some additional steps we are going to pursue. We believe in the power of the legal arguments behind the president’s executive action,” said Earnest.
Earnest also blasted Florida lawmakers for not accepting Medicaid expansion.MORE NEWS: UM Agrees To Pay $22M To Resolve Allegations It Violated False Claims Act
“Because Florida Republicans are much more interested in scoring political points, they blocked Medicaid expansion which, without costing the state of Florida a dime, would bring quality medical coverage to hundreds of thousands, we think up to three-quarters of a million Floridians,” said Earnest.