Campaign Briefing on Fires
The opposition is attempting to exploit the fires to attack Tom as obstructing emergency funding for fires. To support this, they completely misrepresent three bills: HR 1892, HR 4667 and HR 2862. To understand the extent of their misrepresentation, you need to know the facts:
HR 1892 was not an emergency bill for fires. It was the general spending bill that shot discretionary spending up 18 percent in a single year and was opposed by every taxpayer and anti-waste group that took a position. Tom announced his opposition at the time by noting: “This measure abandons any pretense of fiscal responsibility and increases federal spending caps by nearly $300 billion ($2,400 per household) over the next two years. It sets up a structure that will allow Congress to bypass its own budget rules and extends a laundry list of subsidies and special-interest tax breaks.”
HR 4667 began as a $44 billion emergency disaster bill for hurricane and fire costs requested by the President, but was then loaded up with $37 billion in pork-barrel spending unrelated to emergency disaster funding. Tom announced his support for the original request – and opposition to the pork-barrel bill at the time: “…The administration made a request for $44 billion for the damage from the recent hurricanes and wildfires. Congress has since loaded up the bill with an additional $37 billion for everything from education, NASA research, Jobcorps programs, and long-term farm subsidies…It is important to understand that the $37 billion congressional add-on amounts to nearly $300 per household, obviating a significant amount of the tax relief just approved, and worse, pushes that cost into the future.” He went on to note: I supported the $52 billion in emergency relief already approved and am prepared to support the $44 billion requested by the President that meets the criteria for emergency disaster funding.” Taxpayer groups opposed the bill.
HR 2862 separated funding for fire suppression and fire prevention, but was never taken up by the House because it duplicated what the House had already passed as HR 2936, the “Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017,” which McClintock co-sponsored and as Chairman of the Federal Lands Sub-Committee had helped to draft. HR 2936 not only separated suppression and prevention funding, but also expedited forest management to reduce the threat of fire.