U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is defending President Donald Trump's comments that California isn't doing a good enough job managing its forests.
McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, says he agrees with Trump that better forest management could mitigate California's deadly and destructive wildfires. He's commenting in response to a Trump tweet threatening to withhold California's federal disaster funding.
McCarthy didn't comment on the funding threat directly.
He says he'll 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 don't plan to vote for the bills.
Fire scientists say its climate change, not forest management, that's the chief cause of more destructive wildfires.
Democratic U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, also of California, had challenged McCarthy to condemn Trump's comments.