Priorities? Harris Skips California Disaster Aid Bill for Campaign Trail | NTK Network Priorities? Harris Skips California Disaster Aid Bill for Campaign Trail

Priorities? Harris Skips California Disaster Aid Bill for Campaign Trail

After wildfires ravaged her home state, Kamala Harris chose to meet with labor leaders instead of vote in the Senate for disaster relief for California.

By NTK Staff | 04.04.2019 @10:01am
Priorities? Harris Skips California Disaster Aid Bill for Campaign Trail

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) missed a key vote earlier this week when the Senate voted on a disaster aid package to help California rebuild after wildfires ravaged the state.

Juggling the demands of running for president and your day job in the Senate can be difficult, and missed votes are a frequent critique of those who choose to run for president. In 2008, for example, then-Sens. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain all missed numerous votes.

But those politicians also strove to be strategic about what votes they missed. For Harris, whose term just began in 2017, missing this disaster relief vote could send a message to California voters that her priorities are not the voters who sent her to the Senate, but rather her ambition for higher office.

Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist who worked for former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, said he has no problem with senators missing votes from time to time. “But I would have advised Sen. Harris to be in town for yesterday’s votes,” he said.

In addition to the disaster relief bill, Harris also missed votes this week on a “Republican maneuver to speed up confirmation of President Donald Trump’s judicial and executive branch nominees.”

And Harris is not alone. Her Senate colleagues, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Cory Booker have all missed votes since announcing their bids. But, as Politico noted, most of the missed votes “were procedural and none of them affected the outcome.”

This is just the beginning of what could be a very lengthy process for Harris and her Senate colleagues. If they’re not able to balance the demands of the campaign trail with their day jobs, that might not sit well with voters come primary day.

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