The new role comes as the Biden administration condemns efforts by Republican-led state legislatures to pass restrictive laws that the White House says make it harder for Americans to vote. Calling the state bills an “unprecedented attack on our democracy,” Biden admitted he gave Harris a tough job.
“I ask Vice President Harris to help these efforts, to lead them among her many other responsibilities. With her leadership and your support, we will overcome it again – I promise you. It will take a hell of a while. .a lot of work, ”Biden said.
In a statement she first posted on CNN, Harris said she would take her case to the American people to lobby on the issue.
“In the days and weeks to come, I will engage the American people and work with voting rights organizations, community organizations and the private sector to help strengthen and scale up efforts on voting rights in the United States. ‘nationwide,’ Harris said in the statement. “And we will also work with members of Congress to help move these bills forward.”
“The job ahead of us is to make voting accessible to all American voters and to ensure that every vote is counted through a free, fair and transparent process. It is the job of democracy,” Harris added.
In a statement on Saturday, Biden criticized the bill as an “attack on democracy” and “bad and anti-American.” In his own statement on Twitter, Harris used similar language, adding, “We need to make it easier for eligible voters to vote. No harder.”
The president and vice president both spoke on voting rights, calling on Congress to pass HR 1, called For the People Act, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
The path through Congress for either of these pieces of legislation is shaky, and Biden criticized two members of his own party during his speech in Tulsa as he discussed the slowness of the development of the laws. laws.
“I hear all the people on TV say, ‘Why isn’t Biden doing this? “Oh, because Biden actually only has a four-vote majority in the House and a tie in the Senate, with two Senate members voting more with my Republican friends,” he said. we don’t give up. “
The president did not name the senators, but was presumably referring to West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who actually vote more with Democrats than Republicans but are not always aligned with the Democratic caucus on some of the key elements. of Biden’s agenda. Manchin opposes the “For the People Act,” the Democrat-backed voting rights bill expected to be passed in the Senate in June. We do not expect this to pass.
In May, Harris held a meeting with voting and civil rights leaders to discuss “the critical importance of protecting the right to vote,” according to a statement released at the time.