Kevin McCarthy visits Hawaii following wildfires

 September 3, 2023

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced Friday that he will visit Hawaii following deadly wildfires on the island of Maui, followed by a Saturday visit to Lahaina.

McCarthy's visit was announced two weeks after President Joe Biden's stop in the state to assess damages and support the families of more than 100 victims who died.

The announcement

"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," he added.

The visit

McCarthy toured Lahaina on Saturday with a bipartisan group of lawmakers where he promised more federal support for recovery efforts.

“We are going to be there for you,” McCarthy said in a news conference following the tour.

“We want to know what went wrong and that it never happens again. We watched American lives get lost. I don’t think anyone can go there and not be moved. This is taking out a total community," he added.

More help needed

The visit came as Hawaii Gov. Josh Green called for more federal assistance following the deadly wildfires.

“We need help now, we really do,” Green said. “I’m a doctor turned governor so I was in the ER for a lot of years and I saw one-off tragedies. I never ever in my entire life saw something like this.”

“We need to make sure the resources are there quickly because every single day when we go out there and talk to people we see the hurt, we see the pain,” Tokuda said. “And it hurts because we can’t act urgently enough to help folks who literally lost everything.”

The rebuilding will take much time but McCarthy's visit, along with other lawmakers, are seeking to help bring resources to assist.

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