Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Trump says has halted USA funds for California wildfires, forest management

Trump turns up the heat on Pelosi, says he is cutting off funds for CA wildfires President Trump says he’s cutting off FEMA funding to California over fires
Jeannette Daniel | 09 January, 2019, 19:57

But stopping the flow of federal funds is an escalation of the feud, and one that might raise the ire of lawmakers - even the sizable House GOP delegation from the Golden State. "It is a disgraceful situation in lives and money!"

President Donald Trump on Wednesday issued a weird proclamation that he has permanently ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to stop sending California money to help beat forest fires unless they adopt his widely panned plan to prevent fires by raking leaves. "The people of CA ― folks in Paradise ― should not be victims to partisan bickering".

"Weird how we're all told it's beyond the bounds of propriety to talk about impeaching a president who capriciously threatens to cut off disaster aid to the country's largest state immediately after its worst wildfire season in history", Simon Maloy, a senior writer at Media Matters for America, added in response to Trump's tweet.

Based on Trump's phrasing, it's unclear whether he meant that he has already ordered the funding to stop until the issue is addressed or if he would order the funding to stop if the issue isn't addressed.

Trump's latest funding threat comes as he continues to face criticism over the ongoing partial government shutdown, which affects some of FEMA's operations.

More news: Turkoglu calls Kanter's safety fears 'political smear'

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has been puzzled by the claims from the president. He said solving the crisis would require long-term, systemic social change.

Last April, Trump falsely stated that the California government is diverting river water into the Pacific Ocean that could be used to fight forest fires, but he also signaled he will fast-track federal help. Massive wildfires have become more common in parts of California, which experts attribute to years of fuel build-up and people moving into fire-prone areas.

State officials have pointed to a variety of factors including some of the hottest years on record amid global warming trends.

Steve Reaves, president of FEMA's union, appeared alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer at a press conference Wednesday.

Insurance claims from the recent spate of California wildfires have topped $9 billion and are expected to grow, the state insurance commissioner reported last month.

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