McClintock calls for Biden to fulfill promise to Caldor Fire victims

Staff Report

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Nev. — Rep. Tom McClintock on Friday sent a letter to President Joe Biden calling for him to fulfill the promise he made to assist the victims of the Caldor Fire when he visited the scene on Sept. 13.

Tom McClintock

“When officials from El Dorado County and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services apprised you of the need to assist these displaced families, you said, ‘we’re going to take care of them … there’s a lot that we can do, and it starts off being a federal responsibility, in my view,'” the letter stated.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied Gov. Gavin Newsom’s appeal for individual assistance for Caldor Fire victims. The fire is the 15th largest and 16th most destructive fire in the history of California. Nearly 800 homes were destroyed when the fire tragically wiped out Grizzly Flats.

“To fulfill this pledge, it is imperative that you reverse the [FEMA’s] denial of the governor’s appeal for individual assistance for the victims of the Caldor Fire. As I noted in my letters to you of Sept. 17 and Nov. 4, the denial of individual assistance, if allowed to stand, will have devastating consequences on survivors whose homes and livelihoods have been destroyed.

“The FEMA denial is a stunning double standard when viewed next to assistance granted in other fires of far less impact,” the letter continued. “For example, Cal OES identified nine other individual assistance approvals in 2021, which cumulatively had fewer homes destroyed than those destroyed by the Caldor Fire alone.”

McClintock states that not only were many family-owned businesses impacted but also many critical infrastructures such as schools, fire stations and the Grizzly Flats Post Office. To add to that, McClintock said residents of Grizzly Flats are “disproportionately low-income, elderly and socioeconomically vulnerable.”

He said to Biden that without his help, the community will not be able to recover.

“Last year, when FEMA denied the governor’s request for individual assistance for the Creek Fire in Fresno and Madera Counties, President Trump immediately reversed the decision. You made a promise to the victims of the Caldor Fire, and now is the time to fulfill it by taking the same action,” the letter ends.

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