Trump has no right to withhold emergency funds from California: Pelosi
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday rebuked President Donald Trump for threatening to block disaster aid for California, a state recently ravaged by deadly, destructive wildfires whose mostly Democratic political leaders often spar with the Republican president.
"How shocking it is that this president would say he's going to withhold funding to meet the disaster needs of people in California," said Pelosi, a Democrat representing a California district, referring to Trump's tweet on Wednesday that he would stop the emergency funds until the state changes its forest and fire management.
"Unless you have a different definition of what a disaster is and the needs for assistance, you have no right to withhold those funds," Pelosi said at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
It is not clear whether Trump was referring to money already approved and being distributed or to future funds in his tweet. By law he cannot act to "delay or impede" disaster relief once a federal emergency or disaster declaration has been made.
Representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is currently distributing aid near the site of the Camp Fire that killed 86 people, did not respond to requests for comment about the law or the president's tweet on Wednesday, even though some were working despite the government shutdown.
Trump's tweet was part of an ongoing back-and-forth with the most populous U.S. state. He says California has suffered from increasingly intense wildfires over the last few years because of forest mismanagement.
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert and Ginger Gibson; Additional reporting by Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Phil Berlowitz)
More Top Stories
British opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn moved a step closer to paving the way for another referendum on European Union membership by trying to …read more
U.S. home sales tumbled to their lowest level in three years in December and house price increases slowed sharply, suggesting a further loss of momentum …read more
Winter winds and ice sheets will bring extreme cold and ice-slick roads to the Midwestern and Eastern United States on Monday.read more
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday let President Donald Trump enforce his policy barring certain transgender people from joining or staying in the military as …read more
Covington Catholic High School, the Kentucky school at the center of a national controversy over a viral video of an encounter between some of its …read more
Senator Rand Paul and Representative Thomas Massie, both from Kentucky, expressed support for the Covington Catholic High School students who were attacked by the media …read more