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The Sacramento Bee: Trump presses on with petty flame war against California

May 23, 2019

President Trump is attacking California’s forest fire management again. Wildfire season is almost here and, in an ongoing effort to make sure California is punished each and every day for not being a handmaiden to the daily calamity in Washington, Trump’s Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service are playing games with California’s firefighting budget.

They’re trying to violate the California Fire Assistance Agreement, known as the CFAA, which doesn’t expire until 2020.

The five-year agreement calls for the federal government to reimburse California for firefighting costs, most of which are incurred by already-overextended volunteer firefighting agencies, and many of which are in California’s more conservative areas.

An audit by the Forest Service asserts that there may have been “overbilling” by local fire agencies, but the smoke in the air isn’t from fires, it’s from politics.

A signed agreement is a signed agreement. The unnecessary delay in payments to California could be devastating.

President Trump’s rhetorical arson not only hurts California, but may help torch what’s left of his support in GOP-held congressional districts.

Victims of California’s devastating infernos deserve better than nitpicky bookkeeping and petty spats.

The Forest Service and the Trump Administration must honor their promises and let the CFAA run its course until 2020, when the American people can decide whether they want to continue the Trump administration’s flame war on California.

— The Sacramento Bee

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