House Republicans are launching another investigation into the Biden administration, this time regarding its response – or lack thereof – to the deadly wildfires in Maui, Hawaii.
Earlier this week, Representative James Comer of Kentucky, the chair of the House Oversight Committee, announced that a probe would be launched into how the Biden administration responded to the wildfires.
Comer spoke to Forbes and said that his committee’s investigation would take a close look at how the federal government responded to the wildfires, while also working to minimize “the risk of waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars.”
He further said that the actions of “federal, state and local officials” all raise some questions.
Republicans in the House have been very concerned about how the Biden administration has responded to crises throughout the country – and rightfully so. It’s well-known now that the federal government allowed billions of dollars of fraud to happen as part of the various COVID-19 economic stimulus packages that were passed.
In this case, President Joe Biden confusingly remained quiet for the first few days after the Maui wildfires broke out, killing 115 people with many more people still missing. On August 13, a reporter attempted to ask Biden about his thoughts on the people who were killed in the wildfires, the president only responded by saying “no comment.”
The White House tried to save face later on by saying that Biden didn’t hear the question that the reporter asked.
It took Biden almost two weeks to personally travel to the Hawaiian island to see the devastation. When he did get there, he made a joke, comparing the “hot ground” on Maui to a small kitchen fire.
At the same time that Biden seemed to be not giving enough attention, thought and help to the Maui wildfire victims, one of his top officials was focusing on how “culturally sensitive” their response was.
Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, made those comments about how his department was responding to the Maui wildfires. His agency is responsible for responding to all natural disasters.
According to a report in the Washington Free Beacon, while the fires raged on, DHS was putting its agents through diversity trainings.
Mayorkas’ agency is also facing a lot of criticism since it hasn’t fully explained why there are still so many people in Maui missing, and why Biden administration officials have decided to stay overnight at luxury resorts and hotels when they visited the island – as everyone else is scrambling just to recover and survive.
Local officials are also being criticized for their response to the wildfires, too. Kaleo Manuel, the deputy director of the Hawaii Commission on Water Resource Management, reportedly made a decision to delay releasing water so firefighters could use it.
He backed up that decision with a comment last year that access to water on the island is contingent on “conversations about equity.”