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FEMA Pushes Back after Kamala Claims Disaster Aid Is Based on ‘Equity’

'We are going to be there to support everybody that needs help... '

(Headline USA) The chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency pushed back on the Biden White House this week after Vice President Kamala Harris suggested that Hurricane Ian disaster relief will be distributed “based on equity.”

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., responded with a call for the White House and FEMA to be “colorblind” with relief efforts.

“The vice president’s comments were about if you have a different skin color you’re going to get relief,” Scott told CBS, calling the comments unacceptable.

The FEMA chief begged to differ.

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​“We’re going to support all communities,” Deanne Criswell told CBS News on Sunday when asked about Harris’s comments. “I committed that to the governor, I commit to you right here that all Floridians are going to be able to get the help that is available to them through our programs​.” 

Criswell said she’s been on the ground assessing damage from Hurricane Ian in Florida, and predicted that there will be “a lot of people that are going to need assistance as a result of this.”

“These people that need our help the most are going to be able to access the help that we offer. I know that the vice president and the president, they share the same values,” she added. “We are going to be there to support everybody that needs help.”

Harris claimed on Friday that “equity” should play a role in how resources are distributed.

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“We have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity,” ​Harris said ​at the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum on Friday, noting the government should be aware of how natural disasters affect “communities of color.”

 

The White House defended Harris’s remarks on Monday, arguing the Biden administration believes in making it a priority to “remove barriers and ensure that everyone, regardless of their zip code, can access federal resources.”

“But we also know that some people, particularly in lower-income communities, have a hard time accessing that help,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

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