Democrat vice presidential hopeful Kamala Harris may say that “Congress needs to act” to help American families who are struggling financially amid the COVID-19 pandemic — but her record as a senator shows that she’s yet to put her own words into action.
Case in point: the California senator wasn’t even there for a recent vote on a coronavirus relief package, which Democrats ended up blocking, according to Breitbart.
A call for action
Of course, Harris’ absence didn’t stop her from calling out her own colleagues for their lack thereof. “October rent is due one week from today,” she wrote in a tweet Thursday, according to Breitbart.
“People all over the country are still waking up in the middle of the night worrying about how to make ends meet,” Harris added. “It shouldn’t be like this. Congress needs to act.”
October rent is due one week from today. People all over the country are still waking up in the middle of the night worrying about how to make ends meet. It shouldn’t be like this. Congress needs to act.
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) September 24, 2020
“A dead end street”
Harris’ tweet seems to suggest Dems are working on a deal for coronavirus relief, and according to Politico, even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) herself has indicated she may be up to negotiate. But the question remains: where was Harris when the issue actually came up for a vote?
According to an Associated Press report on Sept. 10, Harris was down in Miami, Florida for a campaign event. Not that her single vote would have mattered, of course; all of Harris’ Democrat colleagues — joined by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who stands principally opposed to any additional federal spending — voted in lockstep against the bill.
The roughly half-trillion spending package never even made it to the floor, in fact; it was blocked in a procedural vote for cloture — which requires 60 votes — and failed to move forward by a vote of 52–47.
“It’s a sort of a dead end street, and very unfortunate,” Sen. Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, said after the vote, according to the AP. “But it is what it is.”
It remains to be seen whether a future relief package will end up before the Senate and eventually on the president’s desk, but in the meantime, Republicans aren’t holding their breaths.
“What is of overwhelming importance to Democrats is keeping coronavirus alive as a political issue,” South Dakota Sen. John Thune (R) told the AP. “They’d rather have no bill, zero funding and a political weapon than have a bill and allow Republicans to say that we helped Americans.”