Freezing FEMA Funds
Trump threatens to rescind FEMA funding for California fires.
On Wednesday, President Trump announced that he ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to stop sending money to California to assist with wildfire relief. This comes during one of the most long-drawn government shutdowns in the history of the US. President Trump has repeatedly blamed California officials for mismanaging forests, ignoring the fact that government agencies manage more land than the state itself.
“Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest (sic) fires that, with proper Forrest (sic) 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!” -- President Donald J. Trump in a deleted Twitter post.
So far, over 6,600 Californians have applied and been approved for individual assistance. Now, with President Trump’s announcement, the nearly $49 million dollars in aid that has already been approved is at risk of being frozen. This news is particularly distressing coming after one of the worst wildfire seasons in California’s history. However, what remains unclear is if President Trump even has the authority to retract funding that has already been approved. Regardless of if the president has this power or not, we should all expect that he will fight fiercely to prevent FEMA from assisting forest fire victims.