California Lawmakers Upset That Wildfire Relief Money Is Left Out of White House’s $44 Billion Disaster Aid Request

Every day, Mike Thompson hears a new story about how last month’s fires in Northern California have affected people’s lives. Insurance is being denied. Tourism is down. Some companies have laid off workers.

Firefighter Brandon Tolp works to prevent flames from crossing Highway 29, north of Calistoga, Calif. as wildfires raged in Northern California in October, 2017. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Firefighter Brandon Tolp works to prevent flames from crossing Highway 29, north of Calistoga, Calif. as wildfires raged in Northern California in October, 2017. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

“Block after block of homes are wiped out and cars are melted down to their skeletal remains,” the Napa Valley congressman said of his travels in Santa Rosa over the weekend.

And yet none of the $44 billion that the White House requested of Congress on Friday for supplemental disaster aid includes funding to rebuild California after the fires — which killed 43 people and destroyed nearly 9,000 structures — a move that’s sparked an outcry from Thompson and his fellow lawmakers.

“I think it’s very disappointing. Folks throughout California were ravaged by this fire, and we should ensure they get the help and support they need,” Thompson said Sunday.