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President Donald Trump has upper hand in policy feud with California

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President Donald Trump spent two days in California this week, and 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 of 2019, the state had sued the Trump administration 50 times, and had some success in court.

Additionally, the president and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who took the reins this year, fail to meet eye-to-eye on several central issues — including homelessness, the environment, and a state bill that doesn’t allow candidates who don’t publicly release their tax returns on the ballot.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Trump spent two days in California for fundraisers — where he raked in $15 million— and to visit to the border wall. This same week, the federal government took aim at the state and a federal judge delivered an initial blow to a recently-passed 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, takes shelter under a freeway during an El Nino driven storm in San Francisco, California January 6, 2016.
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 the homelessness crisis, saying that the cities were “destroying themselves.” It was one of his key points of discussion during his fundraisers across the state.

Trump said that he was considering creating an “individual task force” to address the issue of homelessness, The Los Angeles Times reported, but failed to elaborate further.

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 LA Times reported. However, the letter was met with rejection on Wednesday from Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, per the president’s request.

The president also said that the EPA would punish San Francisco for supposedly violating environmental standards claiming “tremendous pollution” from the city’s homelessness crisis is going into the ocean, the LA Times reported.

However, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said that all storm debris is filtered out of the water before it goes into 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 announced on Wednesday plans to roll back California’s authority to set strict auto emission policies

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

On Wednesday, the Trump administration announced that it would rescind the state’s ability to set its own auto emission rules, which is stricter than most of the US.

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 ranked as the smoggiest city in 2010 and 2011.

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 LA was the day before Trump is expected to demolish California’s attempts to tackle auto emissions

A judge blocked tax return ballot bill Thursday

Donald Trump and Robert O’Brien, just named as the new national security adviser, board Air Force One at Los Angeles International Airport, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019,
AP

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

One of California’s more prominent challenges against Trump was a first-of-its-kind law passed 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.

However, US District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. temporarily blocked the election law SB 27 Thursday, citing “irreparable harm without temporary relief” for Trump and other presidential candidates, the LA Times reported. The federal judge said he will give a final ruling on the law by the end of September.

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

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who also serves as chief elections officer, told the LA Times that he is waiting to see the final ruling before he decides to appeal, though he remains firm in the belief that SB 27 is “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 LA Times. “States have a legal and moral duty to restore public confidence in government and ensure leaders seeking the highest offices meet minimal standards.”

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