Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday rejected proposals that Democrats need to change course in the wake of last week’s failed elections, insisting that the party has engaged in “active dialogue and debate” since then, and believes that the adoption of the Biden administration’s agenda will help voters.
“They want us not to sit and chat about politics, but talk about it, but about politics that will affect them and improve their lives,” she said at a press conference for five days. trip to Paris. “And that’s what we’re focusing on.”
These comments mark the first time Harris has weighed in on widespread debate among Democrats since losing the Virginia governor’s election and an imminent victory in the race for governor of New Jersey, which was largely dominated by Democrats. Some of her party, most of them moderates, are calling for caution when handling administration accounts; More liberal lawmakers and Harris are in favor of the swift adoption of President Biden’s $ 1.85 trillion social and environmental spending plan, arguing that such legislative success will help in the 2022 election campaign.
Democrats are also debating whether they need to better fend off Republican cultural attacks and better explain their own plans to revive the economy and bolster schools. The economy is a major concern for voters, especially with reports of rising inflation. In a race in Virginia, Republicans caught the anger of parents whose children spent most of the COVID-19 pandemic learning remotely.
Harris did what now looks like a bleak forecast for her party during her second of two October Virginia campaign rallies in favor of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, telling her supporters, “What happens in Virginia will largely determine what happens in 2022, 2024 and on. “
On Friday, the vice president pointed to the adoption of the $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill last week as a first step towards restoring voter support. But she acknowledged that many are unhappy with inflation: in October, prices rose 6.5%, the largest year-on-year rise in more than 30 years. She said the administration is making this “one of our top priorities,” but has not proposed any new solutions beyond the administration’s previously stated efforts to provide programs to help working families with spending and mitigate supply chain crises by expanding port operations.
“Prices have increased. And families and individuals are faced with the reality that bread is more expensive, that gas is more expensive, ”she said, adding that“ this is due to the need to strain and stretch limited resources. ” While acknowledging that inflation has hurt many families, she declined to promise that the problem would be resolved by Christmas.
Harris skirted the question of whether the United States should adopt the French passport system with polarizing vaccines used in restaurants and at larger events such as an international conference she attended Thursday to better deal with the pandemic. She said local communities should make these decisions based on public health guidelines and that the focus is on vaccinations for children.
The press conference took place as Harris is in the final stages of a five-day trip to France for renovations. French leaders have been unhappy with the Biden administration since September, when the United States and Britain announced they had struck a nuclear-powered submarine deal for Australia, which then canceled a $ 65 billion contract to buy less sophisticated French-built submarines.
When asked by a French reporter if she made amends or made promises to President Emmanuel Macron – after Biden admitted last month that it was handled “awkwardly,” Harris said the quarrel was not discussed by the two leaders.
“That was not the purpose of this trip, and we did not discuss it,” Harris said. “What we really discussed are the issues that challenge us and the issues that underlie this relationship, and the strength and longevity of that relationship.”
Harris met with Macron for over 90 minutes on Wednesday at the Elysee Palace and saw him at several other events. But her role in resolving the dispute has been largely symbolic – the second phase of a two-part plan initiated by Biden last month.
The French reporter also asked Harris what it means to represent her country as the first female vice president and if that could serve as an example to others.
“I think there is no doubt that I am here as a representative of my country,” Harris said. “And my presence here reflects the priorities of the United States with respect to France.”