Rep. Garamendi Warns Trump: 'Don't Screw With California!'

Photo Credit: Rich Pedroncelli/AP/Shutterstock
January 11, 2019
Updated 2mo ago

By Justin Chermol

Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) warned President Trump not to mess with emergency funding for California on Friday after the commander-in-chief threatened to cut off disaster-relief in the fire-ravaged state.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Trump suggested that California itself was to blame for the wildfires that killed 86 people and destroyed thousands of homes last year, and said he was considering pulling its FEMA funds.

"Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen," the president wrote. "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!"

Rep. Garamendi responded to the threat on Friday, saying, "Mr. President, California is the most important economy in this nation,"

Garamendi told Cheddar Friday. "Don't screw with California. Do not harm people that have lost their home."

"It is wrong, it is immoral. Don't do it," he said.

The tweeted threat comes just as Trump's administration is considering diverting billions in unspent disaster relief funds to build the border wall that is at the heart of a political dispute that has shuttered the government. Trump is reportedly looking to end the shutdown by signing an emergency declaration to order the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build the wall without congressional approval.

In California, that funding is earmarked to maintain levies to avert flooding and maintain reservoirs to prevent them from failing, Garamendi said.

"People are in danger," he said. "People need to recover from the disasters of a year and a half ago. So the president's going to take that money to build a border wall? No. He does not ー should not have the power to do that. We should be introducing legislation to make sure that he cannot do that."

The government shutdown will become the longest in U.S. history on Saturday. Nearly 800,000 federal employees hoping to pay their mortgage, rent, or bills received no paycheck on Friday as they are either working unpaid or on furlough.

"They should be madder than hell at President," Garamendi said.

President Trump and ranking members of his administration continue to tell Americans that both a humanitarian and national security crisis abound at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Garamendi says otherwise: "There's no crisis on the border."

And the proposed state of emergency an abuse of power, he said.

"We do not have, or should not have, an imperial president. But he would establish himself, crown himself literally, as though he was Caesar."

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