Congressman LaMalfa Responds to President Trump's threat to withdraw wildfire federal funds

Action News Now asked the congressman for his reaction to the twitter exchange between President Trump and Governor Gavin Newsom

Posted: Nov 4, 2019 5:16 PM
Updated: Nov 4, 2019 6:39 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - California wildfires are getting deadlier and costlier every year, but the President is threatening to pull federal funding. 

President Trump tweeted to Governor Newsom on Sunday, in part, "The Governor of California, @GavinNewsom, has done a terrible job of forest management. I told him from the first day we met that he must “clean” his forest floors regardless of what his bosses, the environmentalists, DEMAND of him. Must also do burns and cut fire stoppers....."

Governor Newsom responded to the President with a tweet of his own, which reads, "You don’t believe in climate change. You are excused from this conversation."

But critics say the President himself may need to take some responsibility for any forest mismanagement. 57% of California's 33 million acres of forest are controlled by the federal government. 

Action News Now asked Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R) how he felt about the President's message, and if the President should play more of a responsibility in California forest management.

"I don't get into playing 'Tweetgate' every time [the President] or [Governor] Gavin Newsom gets into an issue. But this President does everything I ask him to provide relief and aid to our district...we are working with the Secretary of Agriculture, and he's moving in a direction to make more forest management happen, under the President's direction, so we can control that on the federal side."

The Congressman also pointed to difficulties with California's CEQA, or California Environmental Quality Act, as a reason for the hold-up. 

"Every time you want to do forest management [in California,], someone comes in with a lawsuit," added the Congressman.

This is not the first time President Trump has threatened to withhold federal support from California wildfires. The President made his first threat nearly one year ago, just days after the Camp Fire, then again earlier this year in January. 

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