California Republican lawmakers are criticizing President Donald Trump for threatening to withhold federal money for wildfire relief in the state "unless they get their act together." President Trump making reference to way state officials manage forest lands.
U.S. Representative Doug LaMalfa, state Senator Jim Nielsen, and state Assemblyman Jim Gallagher all represent the part of Northern California which includes the Town of Paradise. That community was leveled by wildfire last November.
LaMalfa says federal and state policies for fire management can be improved. But he says California's wildfire victims are "American citizens who require our help."
Nielsen and Gallagher are calling Trump's threat to withhold money Federal Emergency Management Agency money unless the "wholly unacceptable." They say a "Twitter war" between Trump and California's newly sworn Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom is "not helpful."
Newsom responded to Trump's Twitter threat by saying residents should not be victims of partisan bickering. "Disaster and recovery are no time for politics," the governor tweeted.
The dispute comes a day after Newsom joined the governors of Washington and Oregon in sending a letter to Trump asking for more federal dollars to clean up forests.
Just last year California lawmakers approved a one-billion dollars in new fuding over five years for forest management activities.
Also on Wednesday, Republican U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California defended Trump's comments that California isn't doing a good enough job managing its forests.
McCarthy said he agrees with Trump that better forest management could mitigate California's deadly and destructive wildfires.
McCarthy declined to comment on the funding threat directly.
He added that he plans to propose more money for forest management as part of a spending bill offered by House Democrats this week. Democrats are passing bills to reopen parts of the government during the shutdown, but Republicans reportedly will not vote for those bills.