Vice President Kamala Harris defended her job performance in an exclusive interview with “Good Morning America” Co-Anchor George Stephanopoulos, insisting that she and President Joe Biden have been able to deliver for the American people.
“Vice presidents are constantly questioned about their role and importance. You are not an exception to this rule. Even close friends and allies, such as California’s lieutenant governor, Eleni Kounalakis, have expressed disappointment because they believe you can be more helpful than you have been asked to be. Do you feel the same way? What do you say to your irritated friends?” Stephanopoulos inquired.
“This was a good week, and the fact that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act was passed and signed by the president this week speaks volumes about the amount of effort that has gone into it month after month after month. I, like the president, have traveled across the country “Harris responded.
Harris’ defense follows a report alleging that the West Wing has grown frustrated with Harris and her staff, describing dysfunction within her office and frustration with her lack of visibility with the American people. Symone Sanders, her chief spokesperson, reacted to the report’s depiction of Harris, saying in a statement, “It is unfortunate that… some in the media are focused on gossip — not on the results that the President and the Vice President have delivered.”
The negative report comes at a time when the White House is eager to tout the passage of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure spending bill. Harris was front and center at Biden’s bill signing ceremony on Monday, introducing the president and standing behind him as he signed the bill into law.
Even as the White House celebrates its victory, Americans are still feeling the effects of the steepest inflation increase in 30 years. “We passed this week, the infrastructure bill, bipartisan infrastructure bill, and that’s going to be about repairing roads and bridges and bringing internet and high speed internet to all families. But also we need to deal with the cost of child care, the cost of prescription drugs, the cost of housing, and that’s what we intend to do when we get the Build Back Better agenda passed,” Harris said, referring to Biden’s next major priority — the $1.75 trillion social spending package.
“So, here’s the thing: talk to 17 Nobel laureates who are economists, who have actually studied the issue and have indicated that we’re not looking at a contribution to inflation, but rather that we’re going to bring prices down,” Harris said. Indeed, Moody’s and a number of other rating agencies have stated today, “When you look at the numbers, the whole point about inflation and why it hurts us is that prices go up.” With the Build Back Better agenda, the cost of child care, elder care, and housing will be reduced once more. These are very critical issues for American families, who have to make very difficult choices about whether they can afford to pay for child care, or prescription drugs, or, or pay the rent. So, that’s what we’re going to actually accomplish, accomplish with this, is to bring the prices down.”
While Harris has been involved in budget negotiations, making phone calls to lawmakers and hosting groups such as the Congressional Black Caucus, she has also recently been bolstering her credentials on the international stage, traveling to France last week to meet with President Emmanuel Macron and participate in multiple international conferences. The trip was her third as vice president, following a trip to Asia overshadowed by the United States’ military withdrawal from Afghanistan and a difficult trip to Guatemala and Mexico to discuss the root causes of migration. In response to historic levels of illegal border crossings, Harris told Stephanopoulos that there will be no quick fix.
Stephanopoulos questioned Harris about reports that the Department of Justice was considering making payments of up to $450,000 to migrant families separated at the southern border as a result of a Trump administration policy. Biden has stated that the payments will be modest, but that he supports payments to families in general.
Stephanopoulos asked Harris if Biden had told her if he plans to run for reelection in 2024. Harris insisted that she and Biden are concentrating on infrastructure, national security, and other issues.