On Wednesday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) threatened a congressional investigation into Joe Biden’s handling of the disastrous wildfires in Maui.
As reported by Fox News, McCarthy said at a press conference that he was “very concerned” about the federal government’s response to the fires, which have killed over 115 people and thus become the deadliest wildfires in the United States in over a century.
“We saw the devastation that happened in Maui…I’m very concerned about the response,” said McCarthy during the press conference. “We still have hundreds of individuals that are missing. I think there’s going to have to be a congressional investigation into the response on Maui. How could you lose that many Americans?”
McCarthy also called out Biden’s initial response when he was first asked about the fire by reporters, during which Biden could be seen grinning as he simply said “no comment.”
“The president’s response — had no comment. That’s unacceptable,” McCarthy added. “So I am going to work with committees to look at investigating what went on, so that never happens again.”
Biden finally visited the island of Maui, the second-largest of the Hawaiian islands, on Monday, nearly two weeks after the fires on August 8th. The blaze, exacerbated by dry conditions and high winds created by nearby Hurricane Dora, tore through the northwestern corner of the island, completely destroying the historic village of Lahaina.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said on Monday that there are now over 1,000 federal personnel on the ground in Maui.
Biden’s initial failure to respond to the Maui disaster was widely criticized in the media. However, even since arriving on the devastated island, Biden has received further criticism for his conduct: He could be heard making a joke about how hot the ground was, was filmed briefly dozing off during a memorial ceremony, and used his speech to compare the destruction around him to a small kitchen fire that occurred in his home in 2004.
“I don’t want to compare difficulties, but we have a little sense, Jill and I, of what it was like to lose a home,” Biden said during his speech. “Years ago now, 15 years…lightning struck at home on a little lake outside the home, not a lake, a big pond. It hit the wire and came up underneath our home.”
“To make a long story short,” he continued, “I almost lost my wife, my ’67 Corvette and my cat.”
However, even the Associated Press confirmed that Biden’s story was widely exaggerated, as the fire in question amounted to nothing more than a “small kitchen fire” that was quickly contained and put out.