Harris targets corruption, immigration on Latin America trip
With Kamala Harris visiting Guatemala and Mexico on her first foreign trip as vice president, the Biden administration is expected to announce new measures to fight smuggling and trafficking, and hopes to announce additional anti-corruption efforts as well on Monday.
US urging Central America to tackle poverty, corruption
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is trying to entice Central American nations to tackle the corruption and poverty that have helped drive a surge of migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border and presented an early challenge for the Biden administration.
Vice presidents' policy projects come with political risks
That's likely to be the case for Vice President Kamala Harris, who this week was named the new point person on immigration. This is definitely not a ceremonial task,” said Nina Rees, a former deputy assistant for domestic policy to Vice President Dick Cheney. Harris' team has clarified that the vice president does not own all of immigration policy. Kamarck's argument bucks the traditional wisdom, which says if a vice president does well on thorny issues, more credit goes to the president and, if not, it gives the president some political cover. The matter of who gets praise, or blame, is even trickier when it's clear the vice president has White House aspirations.
VP to focus on border diplomacy; no immediate plans to visit
Harris has no plans to visit the U.S.-Mexico border region “in the near future,” spokeswoman Symone Sanders said Friday. Sanders said Harris will go to the border at some point but emphasized the diplomatic nature of the vice president's role. “The vice president is not doing the border,” Sanders told reporters on a flight to Connecticut, where Harris was promoting the administration's COVID-19 relief package. He tweeted out photos of dozens of minors, wrapped in foil-like space blankets, lying on the floor of crowded Border Patrol facilities. It is not unusual to see increases in migrants coming across the border at this time of year and the Border Patrol has faced similar situations in the past, the official said.
Interview flap shows challenges as Harris settles in as VP
The flap was an early signal of some of the issues Harris faces as she settles in and seeks to define her position within the White House. "Harris has a challenge in figuring out what is her role, what’s her specialty in this White House,” said longtime Democratic strategist Joel Payne. Harris also misspoke on some details in her West Virginia interview, referring to “abandoned land mines” instead of “abandoned mine lands” in coal country. She will constantly have to ask herself the question: Would a previous vice president be critiqued in this way?” he said. Even after the interview, Harris’ aides said she was calling lawmakers to advocate for the bill and hear their concerns.
Blair House guest quarters a temporary home for VP Harris
In this Jan. 25, 2021 photo, Secret Service vehicles parked outside of Blair House in Washington. Blair House, the official government guest house, is serving as a temporary home for Vice President Kamala Harris. AdSo Harris moved into Blair House, where President Harry Truman lived from 1948-1952 during major renovations to the White House. The original Blair House was built in 1824 by Joseph Lovell, the Army surgeon general, and later sold to journalist Francis Preston Blair. The Blair family sold the house to the U.S. government in the early 1940s, and it was turned into the president's official guest house.
Harris prepares for central role in Biden's White House
Harris will make history Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, when she becomes the nations first Black, South Asian and female vice president. Biden and Harris knew each other prior to the 2020 presidential campaign in part through Harris’ friendship with Biden’s deceased son, Beau. Since joining the ticket, and particularly since the election, Harris has made efforts to deepen their relationship and is in frequent contact with the president-elect, people close to Harris say. “The relationship of the vice president to the president is the most important relationship. Harris is said to be looking at Biden’s vice presidency as a guide for her own.