Congressmen slam U.S. government for failure to include California wildfire disaster relief in budget

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-19 16:02:45|Editor: liuxin
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SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Two congressmen from northern California strongly criticized U.S. President Donald Trump's government for failing to include relief of California wildfires in its multi-billion-U.S.-dollar budget on Saturday, local media reports said.

Rep. Mike Thompson and his fellow Democrat, Jared Huffman, both from North Bay, a subregion of San Francisco Bay Area in northern California on the west U.S. coast, said the victims of wildfires that ripped through northern California in October are "in a time of need, and the administration is supposed to be helping, not playing political games."

The congressmen were stunned that the White House had requested 44 billion dollars in disaster relief funds from Congress without giving "a penny" to those wildfires victims, the reports said.

The "conspicuous absence" of wildfire relief funding in the appropriations bill that the White House asked for Friday had gone beyond his expectation, since the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in other U.S. states are expected to get the relief money, Huffman said.

He voiced strong support for California Governor Jerry Brown in urging the U.S. government to earmark 7.4 billion dollars for relief to the wildfires in the state.

Brown had made the request to Trump for relief budget shortly after the wildfires that swept several counties in western California.

Trump had promised to help Californian people on one occasion when he was asked about the California wildfire disaster.

The massive wildfires, which Brown described as the most lethal and destructive disaster in the history of California, erupted on Oct. 8 and quickly swept northern California in October.

A total of 44 people, including a 14-year-old boy and a firefighter, were killed by the blazes.

At least 8,900 structures, including homes and business facilities, were destroyed and over 245,000 acres (99,148 hectares) burned, with the total loss amounting to billions of dollars.