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Trump Had Warned California. Today, Another Shot Fired

President says he's cutting off FEMA money unless state gets 'act together, which is unlikely'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2019 10:45 AM CST
President Trump and others visit a wildfire zone in Paradise, Calif., on Nov. 17, 2018.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(Newser) – When President Trump demanded California get its wildfires in check, he apparently meant business. "Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest fires that, with proper Forrest Management, would never happen," Trump said in a Wednesday tweet, ultimately replaced with one in which "forest" was correctly spelled. "Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money," he added in wording that makes it "unclear whether Trump has already ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cut off money for California fires or is threatening to do so as he has in the past," per USA Today. Sen. Kamala Harris responded, per the Hill, saying we should "not play politics by threatening to withhold money from survivors of a deadly natural disaster."

New California Gov. Gavin Newsom also pushed back. "Disasters and recovery are no time for politics," he tweeted. "The people of CA — folks in Paradise — should not be victims to partisan bickering." Newsom asked for more funding for forest management and "increased cooperation" with the federal government in a Tuesday letter to Trump, also signed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, per the San Francisco Chronicle. He has proposed $305 million in state funds go to firefighting personnel and equipment, upgrading emergency alert systems, and reducing forest fuels, per the Chronicle. Trump—who gives no credit to worsened effects by climate change—previously faulted poor forest management for California's fires. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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