Kiley Advocates for Caldor Fire Aid to White House Officials
“Upon taking office in January, I made a promise to do everything in my power to secure federal aid for the victims of the Caldor Fire. As part of those efforts, I sat down with White House officials today to share the stories of those still suffering due to a lack of federal assistance, provided photos of the damage wrought by the Caldor Fire, and reminded the White House of President Biden’s commitment to provide assistance to the victims of the Caldor Fire. Although the White House still has not agreed to grant individual assistance, which is squarely within the President’s power, the White House is looking into alternative sources of potential federal aid and will take back to the President my message that not granting individual assistance is a missed opportunity to make good on his promise.” – Congressman Kevin Kiley
Background: Today’s meeting was set at the personal request of President Biden, who earlier expressed concern that individual assistance was denied to Caldor Fire victims and asked his staff to work with Rep. Kiley to address this problem after Rep. Kiley brought the situation to the President’s attention on January 25th at the White House. Since taking office in January, Rep. Kiley has been doing everything in his power to secure the same federal aid that was provided to victims of similarly destructive wildfires to those of the Caldor Fire. During his January 25th White House visit, Rep. Kiley personally urged President Biden to fulfill his promise to provide relief to victims of the Caldor Fire, and followed up that appeal to the President with a speech on the floor of the US House of Representatives to share the story of the victims of the Caldor Fire with the American people.
On September 13th, 2021, after surveying damage with Governor Newsom, President Biden pledged “we’re going to take care of them… there’s a lot we can do, and it starts off being a federal responsibility, in my view.” Almost two years later, President Biden has yet to keep that promise by providing federal assistance under FEMA’s individual assistance program to the individuals who lost their homes, their livelihoods, and their community.