California is not 'out of control,'
leaders tell Trump
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[February 07, 2017]
By Sharon Bernstein
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - California
leaders pushed back on Monday against President Donald Trump's claim
that the state is "out of control," pointing to its balanced budget and
high jobs numbers in the latest dustup between the populist Republican
and the progressive state.
The state's top Democrats called Trump cruel and his proposals
unconstitutional after the businessman-turned-politician threatened to
withhold federal funding from the most populous U.S. state if lawmakers
passed a so-called sanctuary bill aimed at protecting undocumented
"President Trump's threat to weaponize federal funding is not only
unconstitutional but emblematic of the cruelty he seeks to impose on our
most vulnerable communities," state Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a
Democrat from Los Angeles, said in a statement on Monday.
State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, an L.A.-area Democrat, said the
state has the most manufacturing jobs in the nation, and produces a
quarter of the country's food.
“If this is what Donald Trump thinks is ‘out of control,’ I’d suggest
other states should be more like us," Rendon said.
The latest war of words between Trump and Democratic leaders in
California, where voters chose his opponent, Hillary Clinton, two-to-one
in November's election, began Sunday, in an interview between Trump and
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly.
During the interview, O'Reilly asked Trump about a bill in the state
legislature, authored by de Leon, to ban law enforcement agencies in the
state from cooperating with immigration officials in most circumstances.
Cities who have enacted similar bans are known as sanctuary cities, and
de Leon's bill, if passed and signed into law by Democratic Governor
Jerry Brown, would effectively extend such rules to the entire state.
Trump disparaged the bill as ridiculous, saying that sanctuary cities
[to top of second column]
Demonstrators in support of the immigration rules implemented by
U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, rally at Los Angeles
international airport in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4,
2017. REUTERS/Ringo Chiu/File Photo
"We'll have to, well, de-fund," Trump said. "We give tremendous
amounts of money to California."
Trump went on to say he viewed funding as a weapon.
"California in many ways is out of control," Trump said to O'Reilly.
"Obviously the voters agree or otherwise they wouldn't have voted
Last week, Trump threatened to withhold federal funding from the
University of California at Berkeley, where violent protests led to
the cancellation of a speech by an editor for the right-wing
But experts said it would be difficult for the President to withhold
funds from either the university or the state. Court rulings have
limited the power of the president to punish states by withholding
funds, and most appropriations come from the Congress and not the
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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