President Trump threatened to withhold emergency preparedness funding that helps California brace for and fight devastating forest fires unless the state can “get its act together” in regard to forest management.
Otherwise, Trump tweeted, he will direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency to stop delivering funds to the state.
Trump’s vow came during the ongoing partial government shutdown, which began at midnight on Dec. 22 and affects 800,000 federal workers, including FEMA employees.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has negotiated with the White House over the past several weeks in an effort to end the shutdown, condemned the president’s statement and asked for support from Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, also of California.
.@realDonaldTrump’s threat insults the memory of scores of Americans who perished in wildfires last year & thousands more who lost their homes. @GOPLeader must join me to condemn & call on POTUS to reassure millions in CA that our govt will be there for them in their time of need https://t.co/YZJQug9zh0
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 9, 2019
Last year was the deadliest and most destructive fire season in California, with 104 deaths and more than $3.5 billion in damages.
Newly inaugurated California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) tweeted that the president is playing games with people’s lives.
Mr. President — Just yesterday, @OregonGovBrown, @GovInslee, and I sent a letter asking the federal government to work with us in taking on these unprecedented wildfires. We have been put in office by the voters to get things done, not to play games with lives. https://t.co/GjIVr6yxOP
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) January 9, 2019