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"I find it disgusting that Hunter would vote against the disaster relief bill to bring relief to those families caught in recent disasters, like the Camp fire that devastated Paradise. My sister and her husband lost their house and everything in it due to that fire..." -- Ray Lutz, El Cajon
By Miriam Raftery
Photo:  Lutz family's home in flames
June 5, 2019 (San Diego) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter was one of only two California Republicans who voted against a $19.1 billion federal disaster relief bill that includes an estimated $12.6 billion to help survivors of devastating wildfires in our state.  

The bill passed the House of Representative by a 354-58 margin and is now awaiting action by President Donald Trump.

A prior version of the bill had included funds for processing migrants at the border, but that was removed from the final version. Hunter, along with Rep.Tom McClintock of Elk Grove, still voted against the measure despite removal of that language and the plight of people in numerous California counties devastated by recent wildfires.
Rep. Doug LaMalfa, whose district includes the ravaged town of Paradise where 80 people died in the 2018 Camp Fire, praised the measure as an “important stepping stone towards recovery.”  The bill also included funds to help hurricane survivors in other states and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.
El Cajon resident Ray Lutz's relatives  lost their home to the Camp Fire in Paradise.  He told ECM, "I find it disgusting that Hunter would vote against the disaster relief bill to bring relief to those families caught in recent disasters, like the Camp fire that devastated Paradise. My sister and her husband lost their house and everything in it due to that fire, and only barely escaped with their lives but they were not alone and many families are still in emergency shelters. These people did nothing wrong. The fire that devastated the community was set by sparking on PG&E lines into brush that was not adequately maintained. The high winds drove it in just a few hours to burn virtually everything in its path."

Lutz, who once ran against Hunter in the 50th Congressional district, adds,"I honestly can't imagine why Hunter would not approve this bill. It certainly can't be due to any concern about balancing the budget -- he can't even balance his own check book and incurred more than $35,000 in bank service charges for over drawing his account. So he has no sense at all about finances."  More recently, Hunter is under federal indictment, charged with looting $250,000 in campaign expenses to pay for personal expenses including overseas vacations, jewelry, oral surgery and chlidren's tuition bills. Lutz conclues that having Hunter representing our region is "certainly counter-productive."

Hunter’s 50th Congressional district has suffered some of the worst wildfires in California including the 2007 firestorms and that 2003 Cedar fire that burned down the Alpine residence of then-Congressman Duncan Hunter, the current Congressman’s father.


Duncan Hunter

Thank you for well written article. It's good to see how Hunter respects the people who voted for him. Turning down disaster relief funds. Hope all you Trump/Hunter fans don't get YOUR house burned down this season

Federal Disaster Relief

You own a house, you buy fire insurance. You need health care, you buy Kaiser, Sharps, etc. The article did not say, how and where all that money will go. It is our money, how will it be spent?

Not every loss is covered by insurance, even with a policy.

There can be very high deductibles.  FEMA pays for things like trailers for people to live in while their house is being rebuilt. Some of this money is also going for things like infrastructure repair (roads etc) and to farmers for agricultural crops lost.

Insurance companies sometimes argue something was an act of God.

Also sometimes a person had fire insurance cancelled if they're in a high risk area, or a policy can lapse simply because of some misfortune. A woman who lost a house in Alpine had just lost her job while undergoing cancer treatments and it was a choice of paying for chemotherapy or bills. She was late on an insurance payment and had just had her policy cancelled when the wildfire burned her house down.  This is not an irresonsible person. She was fighting to save her life. This could happen to anyone.

Here is the bill summary:

Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2019

This bill provides $17.2 billion in FY2019 supplemental appropriations to several federal departments and agencies for expenses related to the consequences of recent wildfires, hurricanes, volcanos, earthquakes, typhoons, and other natural disasters.

The funding provided by this bill is designated as emergency spending, which is exempt from discretionary spending limits and other budget enforcement rules.


Our money will be spent preventing and fighting fires. Trump is spending millions of dollars on his trip to the UK, including $24,000/night rooms. He brought his children along (also at our expense) who were never invited. Just flying AF1 to the UK costs $142,380/hr for a seven hour flight. It will cost the same coming back to the US. We paid for all his children and their spouses and the Secret Service round the clock protection for them all. So this is how you want your tax dollars spent.?


Did either Hunter or McClintock say why they voted no?