Kevin McCarthy to visit Hawaii to witness damage caused by wildfires
by Jenny Goldsberry, Washington Examiner, September 02, 2023
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced Friday he will be paying a visit to Hawaii in light of the recent wildfires on the island of Maui.
His announcement came two weeks after President Joe Biden paid the state a visit himself. Biden was vacationing in Delaware when the fires first broke out in early August, and he waited two weeks before visiting the island.
"I'm headed to Hawaii to assess the damage, response, and recovery efforts on the ground from the fire in Maui," McCarthy posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. "It's clear we need answers into how this tragic fire occurred and what could have been done to prevent it from happening."
A spokesman for McCarthy confirmed to the Washington Examiner that the speaker arrived in the state Saturday and had a "full day," which included meetings with "FEMA representatives, first responders, and state and local officials—including the Governor."
The Washington Examiner contacted the office of Gov. Josh Green (D-HI) for comment.
Similarly, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) said the federal response to the wildfire raises "serious questions" to which people "deserve answers," and he launched an investigation into the matter Tuesday. Comer's announcement came after the speaker had already floated the idea to investigate Biden over the wildfire response.
Maui County has filed a lawsuit against Hawaiian Electric, alleging that it is responsible for the wildfires. The company has claimed that the power in its lines was already out before the fires began.
Meanwhile, Maui's death toll remains at 115. According to the Maui Police Department, 40 victims have been identified so far, and their families notified. Eight other victims have been identified, but their families have not been contacted. The county is soliciting the help of locals to identify 388 individuals who have been reported as missing.
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GOP Leader Promises Help For Maui And An Investigation Into The Deadly Wildfires - Honolulu Civil Beat