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McCarthy: There Could Be a Congressional Investigation Over Maui Wildfires

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

While giving remarks at an event in upstate New York, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) offered a glimpse into what Congress' response might be when it comes to the devastating wildfires in Maui, as he also criticized President Joe Biden's delayed and severely lacking response.


"We've got disasters going off in this country. We saw the devastation that has happened in Maui. The need to go there, but I'm very concerned about the response," the speaker said. "We still have hundreds of individuals that are missing. I think there's gonna have to be a congressional investigation in response of what happened. How could we lose that many Americans in today's age? And the federal response seems very delayed." 

The death toll has climbed to 115 people as of Tuesday, according to reporting from Hawaii News Now. Between 1,000 to 1,100 people remain unaccounted for. The Democratic Gov. Josh Green told CBS News' "Face the Nation" that many of the dead may be children. 

In that same appearance, Green tried to blame the wildfires on climate change, as Leah covered on Monday. 

When it comes to a "very delayed" response, McCarthy's putting it politely. Matt has covered at length the lack of proper responses on the ground, including how Hawaiian official M. Kaleo Manuel didn't want to let water be used to put out the flames, and that the active duty military had not been asked to help. 

The residents of Maui themselves have been less than thrilled, as indicated by the signs they've held up for Biden to see when he finally did make the trip on Monday, and with the stories of devastation that they've told


We now know that, thanks to reporting from earlier on Wednesday by Hawaii News Now, emergency officials were at a meeting in Oahu when the fires raged. 

"As the wildfire in Lahaina spread, the Pacific’s top disaster management leaders were together with many of Hawaii’s emergency officials at a meeting on Oahu educating them about how to respond in crisis situations, FEMA confirms to HNN," the report mentioned. 

McCarthy had harsh words for Biden as well. "The president's response to have no comment? That's unacceptable. So I'm going to work with committees too to look at investigating what went on so that never happens again as well," the speaker said.

Biden was on vacation when disaster struck--a particularly common occurrence for him lately--and indeed said he had "no comment," even smirking at the press. 

When he finally did go for a visit on Monday, he once more was on vacation, this time in Lake Tahoe, with Matt highlighting those problems earlier on Wednesday. Upon landing, Biden once more ignored questions from the press, while he continued to smirk. On the ground, Biden caused all sorts of disrespect by cracking jokes and mispronouncing the names of Hawaii officials. He also looked to compare tragedies, even after he said he wouldn't, by telling a wildly exaggerated story about a house fire he faced. In reality, it was a small house fire contained to the kitchen that was contained in 20 minutes. 


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