MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript: Wildfire Spending


Date: Aug. 7, 2014



SCHULTZ: How bad is the situation in California with the wildfires and the
drought taking place John?

GARAMENDI: Well every year it gets worse, Ed. And it`s been bad over the
years before. But every year it`s worse because there really is climate
change. The state is drying out. The drought is part of it. But we are
seeing all across the state, dryer and dryer conditions. And we`re not
preparing for what we know will happen in the next fire season and that is
more fires. So we got to try to get ahead of this in two ways, Ed.
One is to get on top of the carbon emissions. In the president had made a
major step forward with the EPA regulations that are being seriously
attacked by the Republicans in both the Senate and the House and across the
nation. At the same time we need to prepare our communities for these
fires. We need to put in the fire brigs. We need to manage the forest,
reduce the fuels and frankly were going to need to appropriate the money to
fight the fires and to prepare for the next fire season by reducing the
fire threats in our forest and in our wild lands.

SCHULTZ: Well, Congressman we`re looking at the video tape and the
devastating fires that are taking place in California. And the House went
home without fixing the funding to deal with this. You`re reaction to

GARAMENDI: Well, it`s going to cause problems this year and problems next
near. The Department of Agriculture, that`s the U.S. Forest Service. It
managed millions upon of millions of forest fire -- forest acres is
spending all of its firefighting money that was appropriated by the end of
this month and actually by the last couple of weeks of this month of
August. And then they`re going to have to dip into other accounts to force
management accounts and maybe even more beyond that to finish up the fire
season which will clearly run another four months beyond August.
And so we`re going to see more problems this year and next year because we
will not have put in place those fire suppression and making the forest
even safer.

The other part of this problem, a 196 members of Congress all of Democrats
have signed a discharge petition to pull a bill out of committee, a
bipartisan bill that would set up a special fund so that the fires could be
fought in this year and in the next year. And the money set aside to
manage the forest, to build the roads, to reduce the fuel load could be
spent on that purpose rather than be taken out and putting into fighting
the fires this year.


GARAMENDI: The Republicans leadership in the House objects to that saying
its going to cost money. Well yes, but fighting fires this year and next
year more and more is going to cost even more money.

SCHULTZ: We just don`t have money for the basics. They deny the basics.
And I just struggle with this, these Americans out there loosing their
homes, loosing their property. What did they do wrong to be singled out
and to be told, "No, we have nothing for you". And in the meantime it`s
estimated that this going to take a real toll on California`s economy.
17,000 jobs are going to be lost in the Ag. (ph) committee, over $2 billion
to the economy. Are there any numbers out there Congressman that are going
to move Republicans in your state?

GARAMENDI: Well I think the Republicans in this state are more sensitive
to this issue. They are living it. They are living it in their own
districts. So I think they are more sensitive. It is the leadership and
frankly Mr. Ryan in the Congress that has been putting out letter after
saying, no, no, no we can`t do this. But Ed, I was a Boy Scout in fact I
was an Eagle Scout. And the motto is, "Be prepared".

But we have to prepare ourselves in two ways. One, go after the carbon
emissions, reduce those carbon emissions. Take whatever action we need to
do and much of that is already under way certainly here in California with
the cap and trade program. And secondly, get ahead of next year`s fire.

Put in place the fire brigs.


GARAMENDI: Reduce the fuel loads. Those are the things we can do and when
we do that, we save lives and frankly we save money.

SCHULTZ: Congressman John Garamendi, we ask you to stick around tonight
because I want to get your take on the breaking news...