Vice President Kamala Harris took an unexplained trip to Palm Springs, California, on Friday while Democrats back in the nation’s capital focused on trying to pass their partisan $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill and an infrastructure bill.
“Harris, who recently campaigned for Gov. Gavin Newsom in the Bay Area ahead of the state’s Sept. 14 recall election, appears unlikely to meet with local Democrats during her visit,” The Desert Sun reported. “Elle Kurpiewski, political director of the Democratic Headquarters of the Desert, said nobody she knows was aware of the vice president’s scheduled visit.”
The White House did not immediately comment on the nature of Harris’ visit to Palm Springs but said that she would be back in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. Fox News noted that Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, own a home in Los Angeles.
Journalists were reportedly “not allowed” to watch Harris’ departure from Joint Base Andrews.
President Joe Biden met with Democrat lawmakers on Friday over the party’s attempt to pass both the reconciliation bill and the infrastructure bill.
Biden reportedly made it clear that the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill and the infrastructure bill were linked together and that Democrats needed to reduce the $3.5 trillion price tag by almost half for it to have a chance of passing through reconciliation, which would allow the Senate to pass it with only 51 votes.
“Everybody is frustrated. It’s part of being in government — being frustrated,” Biden told reporters on Saturday when asked about delaying voting on the two bills. “Hey, look, one of the things I love about you guys — I watched the other day: ‘Biden vowed he’s going to do this. Biden commits…’ Biden is going to work like hell to make sure we get both of these passed, and I think we will get them passed.”
When asked if Democrats needed to “go it alone and do reconciliation in order to … raise the debt limit,” Biden responded, “Well, I hope that Republicans won’t be so irresponsible as to refuse to raise the debt limit and to — and to filibuster the debt limit.”
“That would be totally unconscionable. Never been done before. And so, I hope that won’t happen. Number one,” Biden said. “Number two, with regard to dealing with childcare, dealing with the tax credits for people putting in everything from solar panels on their homes to winterizing their homes — I mean, they’re making their homes so they — the windows and doors are — are solid. All those things are in that second piece of legislation. And I’m going to be going around the country, this week, making the case why that’s so important.”
“Look, it’s understandable. There’s an awful lot that’s in both of these bills that everybody thinks they know, but they don’t know what’s in them. I — when you — when you go out and you test each of the individual elements in the bill, everyone is for them — not everyone; over 70 percent of the American people are for them,” Biden claimed. “There’s nothing in any of these pieces of legislation that’s radical, that is unreasonable, that is — when you look at it individually.”
“The problem is — you know, one of the reasons why — people said, ‘Well, I heard on television…’ — and it wasn’t totally legit — ‘Why wasn’t Biden going around the country selling this before?’ Well, folks, two little things like — we had hurricanes and floods, and we had little things like we ha- — anyway, a lot was going on. A lot was going on,” Biden concluded. “So, I’m going to try to sell what I think the people — American people would buy. And I’m convinced.”