President Joe Biden has given Vice President Kamala Harris a new assignment, announcing during a speech in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Tuesday that she would lead the administration’s efforts to protect voting rights.
“I ask Vice President Harris to assist and lead these efforts, in addition to her many other responsibilities,” Biden said at an event marking the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa massacre. “With her leadership and your support, we will win again, I promise you. But it will take a lot of work.’
Harris repeated the order in a statement: “President Joe Biden has asked me to lead our administration’s efforts to protect the fundamental right to vote for all Americans.”
President Joe Biden gave Vice President Kamala Harris another job: preserving the right to vote, which he announced Tuesday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at an event to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre.
Vice President Kamala Harris has now been charged with voting rights, which will see her return to her old stomping grounds, the US Senate, as Senate Leader Chuck Schumer has promised a ground vote on the For the People Act later this month.
During Tuesday’s speech, President Joe Biden alluded to “two members of the Senate voting more with my Republican friends,” a light punch to Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (left) and Kyrsten Sinema (right)
“In the coming days and weeks, I will engage the American people, and I will work with voting rights groups, community organizations and the private sector to strengthen and improve voting rights efforts across the country,” Harris continued.
“And we will also work with members of Congress to advance these bills,” the vice president said.
That means Harris will be back in her old stomping grounds — the U.S. Senate — as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has already pledged to give House-passed HR 1, the For the People Act, a vote when Congress returns from its Memorial Day hiatus later this month.
“And June should be a month of action on Capitol Hill,” the president said, before setting out his political realities.
“I hear all the people on TV saying, ‘Why isn’t Biden taking care of this?’ Well, because Biden only has the majority of affectively four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate, with two members of the Senate voting more with my Republican friends,” Biden said, with a slight jab at Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
Both Manchin and Sinema have opposed changing Senate filibuster rules, which would see Senate leader Mitch McConnell and Republican senators block any piece of legislation that doesn’t have 60 votes.
Last week, that likely ended a bill passed by the House that would have created a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Democrats were unable to find four additional Republicans to vote in his favor and break the GOP’s filibuster.
“I’m going to fight hard with all the means at my disposal for the passage,” Biden said, speaking of the For the People Act.
Biden also enacted state-level laws designed to make voting more difficult, calling them “just un-American.”
“Unfortunately, it’s not unprecedented,” the president added.
The vice president’s new job comes less than a week before she must make her maiden trip abroad to tackle another aspect of her portfolio – refer person to the Northern Triangle Provinces to identify the ‘root causes’ of the migration flow to deal with.
Harris will travel to both Guatemala and Mexico next Monday and Tuesday.
Critics of Harris have pointed out that she did not trek to the southern border, which has seen unprecedented crossings due to the typical seasonal rise, as well as pandemic debottling.
Harris also has broadband internet and space in her portfolio.
Harris was also recently criticized for not doing enough to help India, her mother’s native country, as it has seen a massive COVID-19 spike.