Kamala Harris’s job list continues to grow as Biden sets her off on new mission – Washington Examiner

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During her time as vice president to President Joe Biden, Kamala Harris has worn many hats

Being the first woman in United States history to hold the position, Harris has traveled across the country to talk about the Biden administration’s efforts in regard to reproductive rights, abortion, and gun violence, among other topics. On Monday, she traveled to Atlanta to tout the president’s investments in small businesses, adding to the list of jobs she has been handed as vice president.

Since the beginning of 2024, Harris has made 35 trips to 16 different states.

Small businesses

This week, Harris is beginning the “Economic Opportunity Tour” on behalf of the Biden administration, first going south to Atlanta, then Detroit next week. Harris will discuss the administration’s investments in small businesses, job creation, economic investments in underserved communities and infrastructure, healthcare initiatives, and more.

“President Biden and I are committed to creating an economy in which every person has the freedom to thrive,” Harris said in a statement. “Our economic approach has delivered great progress, and we will continue to invest in you, your family, and your future.”

Abortion

Earlier this month, Harris embarked on a “Fight for Reproductive Freedoms” tour, stopping in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin to talk about reproductive rights. There, she slammed former President Donald Trump for his nominees to the Supreme Court, who overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022.

“President Donald Trump hand-picked three members of the United States Supreme Court because he intended for them to overturn Roe, and as he intended they did,” Harris said in Tucson, Arizona.

She reiterated her position of power as a woman on the matter.

“Joe Biden and I trust women to know what is in their own best interest,” she said. “And women trust all of us to fight to protect their most fundamental freedoms. So Arizona, this November, up and down the ballot, reproductive freedom is at stake, and you have the power to protect it with your vote.”

Vice President Kamala Harris delivers a speech on healthcare at an event in Raleigh, North Carolina, on March 26, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Kelley, File)

Artificial intelligence

Last year, Harris traveled to London to discuss the “threat” that AI poses to human rights. There, she announced new measures the Biden administration would take to manage risks and regulation of the AI industry. She asked world leaders to look beyond profits and instead think about the future.

“These threats are often referred to as the existential threats of AI because, of course, they could endanger the very existence of humanity,” Harris said. “These threats, without question, are profound, and they demand global action. But let us be clear: There are additional threats that also demand our action — threats that are currently causing harm and which, to many people, also feel existential.”

This March, Harris announced new criteria for AI, which requires U.S. federal agencies that use AI tools to be able to prove those tools are not harming the general public.

“If the Veterans Administration wants to use AI in VA hospitals to help doctors diagnose patients, they would first have to demonstrate that AI does not produce racially biased diagnoses,” Harris said as an example of an agency using AI.

Gun violence

The vice president visited Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the site of the deadly mass school shooting in 2018, to discuss the administration’s efforts to curb gun violence. 

There, she announced two new “solutions” to the issue of gun violence. One was creating the National Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center, which will support the effective implementation of state red flag laws. The second was calling on states to pass “red flag” laws to prevent future shootings.

“When I was speaking with these young leaders, before I walked in here, they were talking about, ‘Hey, shouldn’t we be looking at people’s backgrounds before they can buy a gun?’ ‘Yes, young leaders,’ I said to them. ‘You are absolutely right,’” Harris said.

Young voters

As the campaign intensifies between Biden and Trump going into the 2024 general election, Harris has been pulled to recruit and retain young voters. Earlier this year, she made campaign visits to Latino communities in Phoenix and Las Vegas.

In those visits, she reaffirmed her position as a black woman, and more importantly, someone two decades younger than Biden, as a way to help convince young people that they will have a voice in the White House. She said her position as the messenger of these arguments will be tested at the polls in November. 

“They’re going to decide that, right? I’m not going to decide that,” Harris said. “But I view it as my responsibility — in the context of, frankly, my career — to make sure that I am being available, accessible, and that I’m listening. It’s just important to me to do that.”

The southern border

From the start of the Biden administration, Harris was tapped as the figure to spearhead the Biden administration’s approach to the southern border. They were set to implement the “root causes strategy,” which, in theory, means if the U.S. is able to improve the economic, security, and political conditions in countries, in this case specifically Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, then fewer people would make the journey to cross the border.

The crisis, however, shifted as people began migrating in large numbers from other countries, such as Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Haiti. 

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“There’s root causes,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in reference to Harris’s work at the border. Then “there’s dealing with a broken system, which is why we put forth an immigration proposal that deals with policy and funding.”

Her efforts as the “border czar,” a nickname given to her by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), have largely failed as border crossings have increased under the Biden administration.

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