Vice President Kamala Harris landed a fifth and sixth job under President Joe Biden this week, when the president asked her to go on a vaccination education tour and handle the government’s efforts to protect voting rights.
These tasks were assigned as the vice president is about to embark on her first foreign trip – to Guatemala and Mexico – as part of the most controversial part of her portfolio: tackling the “root” causes of migration from within the United States. northern triangle, which is primarily responsible for the current border destruction.
Her workload is rounded out by the issues of broadband and space, while also leading a pro-union task force that would take a “government approach to empowering workers.”
Vice President Kamala Harris was tasked in late March to address root causes of migration and serve as a point of contact for the countries of the Northern Triangle and Mexico
In late March, Biden announced that he had tapped Harris to lead efforts to curb migration from the countries of the Northern Triangle — El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — and through Mexico.
Harris, he said, “agreed to lead our diplomatic efforts to work with those countries.”
Soon, Harris became a target for Republicans as border crossings soared and she didn’t travel to the border to see conditions on the ground.
In mid-April, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the “confusion” surrounding Harris’s role with the migrant crisis is “baffling,” arguing that immigration policy has never been a “one-woman” job.
Psaki also pointed out that Biden, as vice president, had played essentially the same role during the Obama years.
Harris gave a preview of the upcoming trip to Guatemala and Mexico City on Wednesday morning.
She said she will meet Guatemala’s president, Alejandro Giammattei, during the “front leg of the journey,” in the hope that the two can have “an honest and genuine conversation.”
“We have a lot to discuss,” she told reporters, including what they could do to “support the people who need help in the areas of hunger, economic development, extreme weather.”
“It’s also about the need to have very candid and honest discussions about the need to tackle corruption, tackle crime and violence, and in particular against some of the most vulnerable populations in that country,” she continued.
On Tuesday, just six days away from her first international trip as vice president, Biden made the headlines when he said he was assigning Harris voting issues.
“I ask Vice President Harris to assist and lead these efforts, in addition to her many other responsibilities,” Biden said during his speech in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the city’s massacre.
“With her leadership and your support, we will win again, I promise you. But it will take a lot of work,” Biden added.
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.”
“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.
President Joe Biden (right) announced Wednesday that Vice President Kamala Harris (left) would embark on a vaccination education tour
On Wednesday, the White House announced that Harris would lead a vaccine tour as the government aims to give 70 percent of adults in the US a shot in the arm by the July 4 holiday.
Harris will lead “a nationwide tour to reach millions of Americans who still need protection from the virus, to emphasize the ease of vaccination, to encourage vaccinations and to promote and mobilize basic vaccination education,” the White House said.
The president was more specific about where Harris would travel and said she would be accompanied by additional surrogates.
“The vice president is going to lead that tour of the South and Midwest,” Biden said Wednesday afternoon. ‘We still have millions of people to vaccinate. Along the way she is joined by the first lady and the second gentleman and the heads of private offices.’
Harris, who takes on the same role as the previous vice president, Mike Pence, is chairman of the National Space Council.
The announcement was made in early May.
“I think her approach to this is to get the job done and use this to guide our space policy, and not really focus, perhaps so much on large displays,” an official told ABC News about how Harris would differ in the job than Pence, who made multiple trips to Florida for rocket launches.
President Joe Biden announced during his first presidential speech to Congress that Vice President Kamala Harris would lead efforts to close the digital divide
On April 21, when Biden delivered his first congressional address to a joint session, the president said Harris would also lead efforts to close the digital divide.
Biden’s goal is to expand broadband access nationwide.
“It’s going to help our kids and our business succeed in the 21st century economy,” he said. “And I’m asking the vice president to lead this effort, if she wants to, because I know it will work.”
Biden initially asked for $100 billion in his infrastructure plan to expand broadband. The GOP’s most recent counter-offer included $65 billion.
PRO-UNION TASK FORCE
Also in late April, Biden announced the formation of a pro-union task force that would explore how the workers could help.
The task force would be chaired by Harris.
It would take a “government approach to empower workers,” essentially exploring what laws could be used to help workers organize.