Trump Threatens Literal Scorched-Earth Policy to Punish California

10 January, 2019, 10:43 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Trump turns up the heat on Pelosi, says he is cutting off funds for CA wildfires

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest fires that, with proper Forrest Management, would never happen", Mr Trump said, misspelling the word "forest" twice.

It's unclear if Trump's latest threat would affect FEMA actions.

Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted, "Californians endured the deadliest wildfire in our state's history previous year".

President Donald Trump talks with Governor Gavin Newsom, left, as California Governor Jerry Brown listens during a visit to a neighborhood impacted by the Camp wildfire in Paradise, California.

President Donald Trump threatened Wednesday to withhold money to help California cope with wildfires a day after new Gov. Gavin Newsom asked him to double the federal investment in forest management.

Trump's tweet today comes as he faces heat over the ongoing government shutdown, in which FEMA is partially affected.

California's Democratic politicians blasted Trump for his threat. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment. "It's absolutely shocking for President Trump to suggest he would deny disaster assistance to communities destroyed by wildfire", Senator Dianne Feinstein said in a statement.

A key statute, the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, says that once a federal declaration of emergency or disaster has been made, the president "shall not. delay or impede the rapid deployment, use and distribution of critical resources to victims of an emergency".

Representative Doug LaMalfa of Richvale, a Republican whose district includes Paradise and surrounding areas scorched by the Camp fire, in a statement said he shares Trump's "great frustration" with California but added that "threats to FEMA funding are not helpful and will not solve the longer term forest management regulatory problems".

"We have been put in office by the voters to get things done", Newsom wrote, "not to play games with lives".

"We should work together to mitigate these fires by combating climate change, not play politics by threatening to withhold money from survivors of a deadly natural disaster", Sen. Wildfires ravaged California in November, leaving at least 89 dead and thousands of people displaced. But Trump has repeatedly charged that California is to blame for the severe wildfires that have devastated the state in recent years. The Camp Fire death toll would later rise to 86 people.

Moreover, Waldron said, the fire likely started in the Plumas National Forest, and not on state land. It has been CAL Fire, a state agency, that has aggressively, competently and quickly attacked our forest fires with all the resources at its command and has protected us from the worst consequences of these destructive federal and state laws.

Trump's administration has said repeatedly that California's wildfires are evidence that forests must be managed more aggressively, through "thinning" and prescribed burns to reduce fuel loads.

Californians endured the deadliest wildfire in our state's history a year ago.

It also came a day after Newsom and the governors of OR and Washington signed a letter asking Trump to spend more to manage the federal government's forests in the Western United States.

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