When the historically massive wildfires began raging across Northern California in early October, Donald Trump was too busy throwing a tantrum about the NFL to find time to comment on the disaster or reach out to victims or lawmakers.
And while he eventually offered condolences and promised that the federal government would “stand with” Californians during and after the crisis, he has done vanishingly little to follow through on that supposed promise.
And California lawmakers are letting the White House know how unacceptable they find Trump’s total disregard for their constituents.
The massive fires covered over 245,000 acres across seven counties, leading to at least 43 lives lost as well as nearly 9,300 structures damaged and 8,560 destroyed, with loss estimates reaching $8 billion.
Yet the disaster aid request which the White House sent to Congress Friday contains “no funding whatsoever” for wildfire victims.
California Democratic Reps. Jared Huffman and Mike Thompson quickly blasted Trump for this glaring neglect.
“This is a new low for this Administration,” they said in a joint statement.
“Either they have forgotten about the thousands of American citizens who’ve lost everything in the California fires, or they just don’t care.”
It is “outrageous, unacceptable, and a dereliction of the Administration’s duty” toward the people, the representatives continued.
“For the Administration to not request even a single additional penny to help rebuild the communities devastated by the worst fires in California’s history is mind-boggling.”
California Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris echoed their colleagues’ criticism in their own statement.
It’s appalling the White House is choosing to ignore the victims of California’s wildfires. The latest disaster supplemental request is a completely inadequate response to all of the recent natural disasters, but it’s particularly egregious that no money was included to help Californians rebuild.
“The president needs to remember that he serves all Americans,” the senators continued, noting that “Americans comes together and help each other in our times of need.”
But, as they observed sharply, Trump “seems to have forgotten that.”
And he is being slammed from all sides on this issue, as Republicans in Texas made their disapproval with the “wholly inadequate” amount of aid in the package for recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey.
Houston Rep. John Culberson was forthright in his assessment of Trump’s offer, calling it nothing short of a “nightmare.”
After Trump’s callous neglect for the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and his appalling nastiness toward the mayor of San Juan — who literally begged for her constituents’ lives — perhaps his woefully impotent or downright nonexistent offers of aid come as no surprise.
But Trump’s heartlessness being unsurprising doesn’t make it any less abhorrent. And the people in California his administration has utterly ignored will not soon forget it.