Politics

BOMBSHELL, President Trump Pulls Federal Funds From California

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In a controversial move President Donald Trump has pulled funding from California.

The president said he is frustrated with the state’s forest management and is ordering FEMA to withhold funds.

“Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen. Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!” he said.

The Hill reported on the story.

FEMA did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), of which FEMA is a part. The Hill has also reached out to California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) office for comment.

FEMA and DHS are currently without funding amid a partial government shutdown that has lasted 19 days and counting.

Trump has at least twice before threatened to withhold disaster funding from California for its wildfires and pressed the state to fix what he sees as major flaws with its forest management practices that cause or exacerbate fires.

Local officials and fire experts, meanwhile, have criticized Trump for ignoring the impact that climate change is having on the length and severity of fires — and denying climate change science — while giving too much credit to forest management.

California passed a comprehensive law last year aimed at wildfires. Among other changes, it puts new resources into clearing out brush, dead trees and other biomass that contributes to fires.

Wildfires ravaged the state in 2018, with the Camp Fire in Northern California killing at least 85 people and destroying thousands of buildings. The wildfire was the deadliest in the state’s history and racked up an overall damage cost of $16.5 billion, according to reinsurance firm Munich Re, which on Tuesday named it the costliest disaster of 2018.