"I know that sounds strange," Biden said, noting how partisan politics have become.
"I think he trusts my judgment and my desire to help, and I trust him to be able to suggest that this is not about politics," the president said. "This is about taking care of the people of the state."
Idalia made landfall near Keaton Beach at 7:45 a.m. local time as a high-end Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 205 kph (125 mph). It had weakened to a tropical storm with winds of 113 kph (70 mph) by Wednesday afternoon.
$95 billion for Maui
Biden also announced that $95 billion in infrastructure funds would go to Maui to help harden the electrical grid and pay for things such as erecting stronger poles to hold up power lines or bury them underground where possible, and to deploy technology that can send alerts about power disruptions.
Some people on the island whose homes were burned have complained that authorities have refused to let them return to their properties. Biden appealed for patience, explaining that the hazardous material must be removed before anyone can return.
"We're doing everything we can to move heaven and earth to help you recover, rebuild and return to your lives," he said, adding that the situation will be as "frustrating as the devil for people."
"I want to be clear with the people of Maui about what to expect. The work we're doing is going to take time, in some cases a long time," he added.
The federal government is paying to remove the debris, including hazardous material.
Republicans threaten probe
Some Republicans in Congress have threatened to investigate the federal response in Hawaii after some Maui residents complained that the government wasn't sending enough early help.
Biden met with his Cabinet on Wednesday to discuss the response in Maui and heard from Bob Fenton, the FEMA official he put in charge of overseeing the island's long-term recovery.
"We are going to make sure you are healed and you're in better shape than before," Biden said, recalling his visit to Maui on August 21. "I said when I was on the island last week we're not leaving until the job's done, and we'll be there as long as it takes."