Statement in Response to President Trump’s Threat to Withhold FEMA Funds From California
January 9, 2019
Congressman Tom McClintock today issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s threat to withhold FEMA funds from California:
The President is absolutely correct that poor forest management has condemned our forests to morbid overcrowding and ultimately catastrophic wildfire. However, the principal blame for California’s wildfires lies with federal agencies and laws which govern most of our state’s forests and brushlands. Laws like the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act, which have made scientific forest management endlessly time consuming and ultimately cost prohibitive, are merely mimicked by bad state laws like the California Environmental Quality Act.
The House has passed reforms to streamline these federal laws but was consistently thwarted by the Senate. Until the federal government acts to reform its own laws, it has no excuse for withholding funds from California for following the same policies.
Indeed, our federal agencies often view catastrophic fire as a “management tool” and as a result have been sluggish to respond to emergencies. It has been CalFire, 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. Cutting off their funding would damage the one governmental agency that actually works.
I strongly urge the President to reconsider this action.
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