Trump landed crushing blows to 3 of California’s biggest priorities this week

  • President Donald Trump spent two days in California this week. He not only raked in $15 million at fundraisers for his reelection campaign, but he took away some political wins.
  • The president and Gov. Gavin Newsom, who took the reins this year, fail to meet eye-to-eye on numerous issues – including homelessness, the environment, and a state law that wouldn’t allow candidates on the ballot without publicly releasing their tax returns.
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President Donald Trump spent two days in California this week, and he derailed some of the state’s major priorities.

Trump has been at odds with California since taking office. The state, much like Texas during the Obama administration, has been a thorn in the federal government’s side. As of May, the state had sued the Trump administration 50 times and had some success.

Additionally, the president and Gov. Gavin Newsom, who took the reins this year, fail to meet eye-to-eye on several issues – including homelessness, the environment, and a state law that wouldn’t allow candidates on the primary ballot without publicly releasing their tax returns.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Trump spent two days in California for fundraisers, where he raked in $15 million, and to visit to the southern border wall. Also this week, the federal government targeted the state over the environment and a federal judge delivered an initial blow to a recently enacted piece of legislation.

Read more: No truce: Trump keeps up feud with California during visit

California was denied federal aid to combat homelessness

A homeless man taking shelter under a freeway during an El Niño-driven storm in San Francisco in 2016.

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A homeless man taking shelter under a freeway during an El Niño-driven storm in San Francisco in 2016.
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Beck Diefenbach/Reuters

When Trump first arrived in the Golden State on Tuesday, he railed on San Francisco and Los Angeles for their handling of homelessness, saying the cities were “destroying themselves.” It was one of his key points of discussion during his fundraisers across the state.

Trump said he was considering creating an “individual task force” to address the issue of homelessness, the Los Angeles Times reported, but did not elaborate.

Newsom and other California officials wrote a letter Monday to the White House asking for “50,000 more vouchers that would aid people most affected by California’s housing crisis,” the Times reported. The letter was rejected on Wednesday by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, per the president’s request.

The president also said the Environmental Protection Agency would punish San Francisco over claims that “tremendous pollution” from the city’s homelessness crisis was going into the ocean, the Times reported.

Mayor London Breed said all storm debris was filtered out of the water before it could enter the ocean.

Read more: Trump says homeless people are living in ‘our best highways’ and building entrances and people have told him they want to ‘leave the country’ over it

The Trump administration on Wednesday announced plans to roll back California’s authority to set strict auto-emission policies

Los Angeles Traffic

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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

On Wednesday, the Trump administration announced plans to rescind the state’s ability to set its own auto-emission rules, which are stricter than those favored by the Trump administration.

While aboard Air Force One on Wednesday, the president noted that it was a “coincidence” that the announcement came while he was in Los Angeles, which has long been known as one of the smoggiest US cities.

California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, plans to defend the state’s environmental policies and file a lawsuit against the White House.

Read more: See how smoggy downtown Los Angeles was the day before Trump was expected to demolish California’s attempts to tackle auto emissions

On Thursday, a judge blocked a tax-return ballot law

Read more: California just enacted a law requiring Trump to release his tax returns to be on the primary ballot

One of California’s more prominent challenges against Trump was a first-of-its-kind law enacted in July that would not allow presidential candidates on the primary election ballot who do not disclose their tax returns – a move that appeared aimed at Trump, who has refused to release his tax returns.

US District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. temporarily blocked the law Thursday, however, citing “irreparable harm without temporary relief” for Trump and other presidential candidates, the Times reported. The federal judge said he would give a final ruling on the law by the end of September.

Trump challenged the law in federal court in August, the Times reported.

California’s secretary of state, Alex Padilla, who also serves as chief elections officer, told the Times he was waiting to see the final ruling before deciding whether to appeal, though he maintained that the law was “constitutional and provides invaluable transparency for voters as they decide who will hold the most powerful office in the United States.”

“These are extraordinary times,” Jesse Melgar, a spokesman for Newsom’s office, told the Times. “States have a legal and moral duty to restore public confidence in government and ensure leaders seeking the highest offices meet minimal standards.”