Congressman LaMalfa Responds to President's Threat to Withhold FEMA Funding


Days after the Camp Fire began burning, Trump threatened to withhold federal payments to California, accusing the Golden State of "poor" forest management.

"It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!", the tweet says.

November's fire in the northern California town of Paradise was the deadliest US wildfire in a century, killing at least 85 people and destroying almost 14,000 homes.

Newsom, also a Democrat, said at his swearing-in ceremony this week that the Trump administration is "hostile to California's values".

Critics on social media questioned whether Trump could legally withhold FEMA money that has already been appropriated.

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Fortune reached out to FEMA for comment Wednesday.

The tweet comes a day after Governor Gavin Newsom held a press conference with fire officials regarding fire prevention. Newsom said they had "been put in office by the voters to get things done, not to play games with lives".

The congressman then tried to direct Trump's attention to the people in his strongly Republican district who have been hurt by the fires.

Last month, Trump signed an executive order to boost logging and forest thinning on more than 4 million acres of federal lands to combat extreme wildfires. "I'm already taking action to modernize and manage our forests and emergency responses".

In this file photo taken on November 10, 2018 Flames from the Camp fire burn near a home atop a ridge near Big Bend, California.

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Paradise Town Councilman Steven Crowder, a Republican, hadn't seen the president's tweet on Wednesday morning, but called it "disturbing".

Crowder added, "I'm sure I'm not alone - we lost our home, we lost our business, we lost our community - and I don't think that anybody that's been through that would be too supportive of that tweet". It is considered the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state's history.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked Republicans to condemn Trump and get him to reassure Californians needed assistance.

Trump's statements on California are not the first time he's criticized the state for how it has dealt with wildfires.

In a Tuesday event on wildfire safety, Newsom had praised Trump for always providing California with necessary disaster relief funds.

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In a tweet, Trump accused the state of failing to properly manage its forests.