WH Press Secretary: VP Harris ‘Was Clearly Talking About Long-Term Investment, Not FEMA Aid for Hurricane Response Efforts’

Melanie Arter | October 3, 2022 | 4:49pm EDT
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White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily briefing in the James S Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on September 26, 2022. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily briefing in the James S Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on September 26, 2022. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – The White House on Monday said it is committed to getting resources to “all communities impacted” by Hurricane Ian, adding that Vice President Kamala Harris was not referring to “hurricane response efforts” but instead to “long-term investment.”

This comes in response to Harris’ comments during a Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum on Friday, in which she was asked about the administration’s hurricane response and addressing “the climate crisis.”


“And one other little issue. Republicans — some Republicans criticized Vice President Harris’s comments about the role of equity in responding to the storm — the storms and rebuild, and their suggestion was that the vice president is suggesting that people of color will get an advantage of some kind with the rebuilding efforts. To the extent that that needs to be clarified, can you clarify that?” a reporter asked.

“Yes, I’m happy to clarify that. Thank you for asking the question. So that is not what the vice president said.  The vice president was clearly talking about long-term investment, not FEMA aid, for hurricane response efforts,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a gaggle on board Air Force One en route to Ponce, Puerto Rico.

“The vice president and the president have been clear that the federal government has been and will continue to be there for all Americans recovering from these devastating storms, as we’re seeing the president and the first lady do today and as we’ll see them do, clearly, in Florida on Wednesday,” the press secretary said.

“We are committed to quickly getting resources to all communities impacted, period, full stop, but we also know that some people, particularly in lower-income communities, have a hard time accessing that help,” Jean-Pierre said.

“That’s why this administration has also made it a priority to remove barriers and ensure that everyone, regardless of their ZIP Code, can access federal resources, and that’s what she was talking about,” she added.

As CNSNews.com reported, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) called the vice president’s comments “literally the definition of discrimination” and “incredibly racist.”

Similarly, Rep. Byron Donalds (R-S.C.) disagreed with the vice president, saying, “Now is not the time to be talking about who gets what based upon where you started.”

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