Kamala Harris on Government Reform

Democratic candidate for President (withdrawn); California Senator


Voting is how we protect our fundamental rights

Q: Many of our fundamental rights are under attack. You have been on the frontlines when protecting our reproductive rights and justice in all of its forms. What do we need to be doing to protect those rights?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Register to vote and then vote. And let's reflect on what that has meant. Well, one thing is it scared some people. And it is by no coincidence that immediately thereafter you started seeing extremist so-called leaders passing laws restricting voting days, making it more difficult to vote, banning drop boxes, shortening the amount of time people could vote ahead of the election, passing a law making it illegal to give somebody food and water while they are standing in line to exercise their civic responsibility and duty. Let us also mention the hypocrisy. Don't these people really believe the words about "love thy neighbor"?

Source: Remarks at the NAACP 114th Annual Convention , Jul 19, 2023

If someone tries to suppress our vote, vote them out

Harris went about her political business, appearing in Atlanta and speaking at Spellman College, America's private and oldest historical Black Liberal arts college for women: "We can honor our ancestors by voting early. And certainly in the next [election], we can send a message that if someone is trying to suppress our vote, then we will vote them out of office. Because that is a fight worth having."

Democrats reclaimed control of the House of Representatives in 2018, though not the Senate.

Source: Kamala's Way, by Dan Morain, p.205 , Jan 12, 2021

Lincoln, before 1864 election, left Supreme Court seat open

PENCE: Your party is actually openly advocating, adding seats to the Supreme court, which has had nine seats for 150 years if you don't get your way. I think the American people would really like to know if Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed at the Supreme Court of the United States. Are you and Joe Biden, if somehow you win this election, going to pack the Supreme Court to get your way?

HARRIS: In 1864, Lincoln was up for reelection and it was 27 days before the election. And a seat became open on the United States Supreme Court. Abe said, "The people deserve to make the decision about who will be the next president of the United States. And then that person can select who will serve for a lifetime on the highest court of our land." Joe and I are very clear: the American people are voting right now and it should be their decision about who will serve on this most important body for a lifetime.

Source: 2020 Vice-Presidential Debate in Utah , Oct 7, 2020

Get rid of the Senate filibuster to pass Green New Deal

On the issue of this climate crisis, I'm going to tell you, I strongly believe this is a fight against powerful interests. And leaders need to lead. So, lead, follow, or get out the way, and get out the way starting with Donald Trump.

Yes, we need to work across the aisle. But I'm going to tell you, I have been there now two years and some months. I'm seeing no evidence of it. I kid you guys not--in our United States Congress, I was part of a committee hearing, during which the underlying premise of the hearing was to debate whether science should be the basis of public policy. This on a matter that is about an existential threat to who we are as human beings. So, again, back to the United States Congress, here's my point. If they fail to act, as president of the United States, I am prepared to get rid of the filibuster to pass a Green New Deal.

Source: CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall marathon (10 Democrats) , Sep 4, 2019

Discuss eliminating the Electoral College

Harris on Electoral College: It should be eliminated. 16 CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Cory Booker; Peter Buttigieg; Julian Castro; Tulsi Gabbard; Kirsten Gillibrand; Jay Inslee; Amy Klobuchar; Wayne Messam; Seth Moulton; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan; Bernard Sanders; Eric Swalwell; Elizabeth Warren; Marianne Williamson. Twelve Democratic presidential candidates have explicitly called for the abolition of the Electoral College, while five others have said they are open to the idea.

Among those who support repealing it, the remedies vary. Some, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, said they would back a constitutional amendment. Four Democrats said they are open to abolishing the system but didn't explicitly back doin

Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues" , Jul 17, 2019

Mandate paper ballots

Harris on Election Security: Mandate paper ballots.

11 CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Cory Booker; Julian Castro; Tulsi Gabbard; Kirsten Gillibrand; Amy Klobuchar; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan; Bernard Sanders; Eric Swalwell; Elizabeth Warren.

Election security experts overwhelmingly consider paper ballots the most secure form of voting. That mandate is part of the Protecting American Votes and Elections Act, which would also require post-election risk-limiting audits.

Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues" , Jul 17, 2019

New voting rights act; make Election Day a holiday

[Harris Supports] a new voting rights act that would automatically register people to vote; make election day a national holiday and fight back against Republican efforts to suppress the vote.
Source: Detroit Free Press on Democratic 2020 Veepstakes , May 5, 2019

Neighborhood districting increases minority representation

ACLU argument in favor of AB 182: The 2002 CA Voting Rights Act empowers challenges to race-based vote dilution in local at-large elections. AB 182 extends these protections to single-member district systems and designs remedies to avoid diluting the voices and votes of protected communities.

SFGate.com veto analysis:Gov. Brown said in his veto message that existing laws "already ensure that the voting strength of minority communities is not diluted." The 2002 law allows minority groups to challenge at-large (city-wide) elections, increasing the likelihood of control by a white majority. [Since 2002] over 100 local governments switched to district elections. The [new] law could challenge district lines if intended to dilute minority votes. Minority advocates and state Attorney General Kamala Harris, supported it.

Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 26-14-0 on 9/3/15; Passed Assembly 53-24-3 on 9/8; Vetoed by Gov. Brown on 10/10.

Source: ACLU on California voting record AB 182 , Oct 2, 2015

Statehood for the District of Columbia.

Harris co-sponsored H.R.317

Congressional Summary: Sets forth procedures for admission into the United States of the state of New Columbia.

Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (DCist.com, Sept. 2014): The Argument Against: Congress does not have the authority to grant statehood to D.C.; the 23rd amendment, which gave D.C. three electoral votes, would have to be repealed before statehood was granted. Washington is a wholly urban, one-industry town, dependent on the federal government far in excess of any other state. Moreover, with Congress no longer having authority over New Columbia but dependent on it, New Columbia could exert influence on the federal government far in excess of any other state.

Supporters reasons for voting YEA: [Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC; the District of Columbia has one representative to Congress and no Senators; Rep. Holmes can introduce bills but her vote does not count]: This 51st state would have no jurisdiction over the federal territory or enclave that now consists of the Washington that Members of Congress and visitors associate with the capital of our country. Those would remain under federal jurisdiction. The New Columbia Admission Act was the first bill I introduced in 1991. Statehood is the only alternative for the citizens of the District of Columbia. To be content with less than statehood is to concede the equality of citizenship that is the birthright of our residents as citizens of the United States.

Source: New Columbia Admission Act 15_H317 on Jan 13, 2015

Automatic voter registration for all citizens.

Harris co-sponsored H.R.12 & S.1088

Congressional Summary:

Supporters reasons for voting YEA: (BrennanCenter.org): Too many Americans go to vote on Election Day only to find their names are not on the voter rolls--often, wrongly deleted. The US is on the verge of a new paradigm for registering voters: automatic, permanent registration of eligible voters, which would add up to 50 million eligible voters to the rolls.

Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (Gov. Christie`s veto message on the `Democracy Act`, Nov. 2015): Christie called a provision establishing automatic voter registration that requires New Jerseyan to opt out a `government-knows-best, backwards approach that would inconvenience citizens and waste government resources for no justifiable reason.` Automatic voter registration would have added 1.6 million people to the state`s voter rolls.

Source: Voter Empowerment Act 15-S1088 on Mar 19, 2015

Sponsored bill for election holiday & easier voting access.

Harris co-sponsored For the People Act of 2019

Opposing argument from the Heritage Foundation, 2/1/2019: HR1 federalizes and micromanages the election process administered by the states, imposing unnecessary mandates on the states and reversing the decentralization of the American election process. What HR1 Would Do:

Legislative outcome: Passed House 234-193-5 on 3/8/19; received with no action in Senate thru 12/31/2019

Source: H.R.1 &S.949 19-S949 on Jan 3, 2019

Voted YES on two articles of impeachment against Trump.

Harris voted YEA Impeachment of President Trump

RESOLUTION: Impeaching Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors.

    ARTICLE I: ABUSE OF POWER: Using the powers of his high office, Pres. Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 US Presidential election. He did so through a course of conduct that included
  1. Pres. Trump--acting both directly and through his agents--corruptly solicited the Government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations into a political opponent, former Vice President Joseph Biden; and a discredited theory promoted by Russia alleging that Ukraine--rather than Russia--interfered in the 2016 US Presidential election.
  2. With the same corrupt motives, Pres. Trump conditioned two official acts on the public announcements that he had requested: (A) the release of $391 million that Congress had appropriated for the purpose of providing vital military and security assistance to Ukraine to oppose Russian aggression; and (B) a head of state meeting at the White House, which the President of Ukraine sought.
  3. Faced with the public revelation of his actions, Pres. Trump ultimately released the [funds] to the Government of Ukraine, but has persisted in openly soliciting Ukraine to undertake investigations for his personal political benefit.
These actions were consistent with Pres. Trump`s previous invitations of foreign interference in US elections.
  1. Pres. Trump defied a lawful subpoena by withholding the production of documents sought [by Congress];
  2. defied lawful subpoenas [for] the production of documents and records;
  3. and directed current and former Executive Branch officials not to cooperate with the Committees.
These actions were consistent with Pres. Trump`s previous efforts to undermine US Government investigations into foreign interference in US elections.
Source: Congressional vote ImpeachK on Dec 18, 2019

Other candidates on Government Reform: Kamala Harris on other issues:
2024 Republican Presidential Candidates:
Ryan Binkley (R-TX)
Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND)
Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
Larry Elder (R-CA;withdrew)
Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC)
Rep. Will Hurd (R-FL;withdrew)
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)
Perry Johnson (R-IL)
Mayor Steve Laffey (R-RI)
Former V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN;withdrew)
Vivek Ramaswamy (R-OH)
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Secy. Corey Stapleton (R-MT)
Mayor Francis Suarez (R-FL;withdrew)
Former Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)

2024 Democratic and 3rd-party primary candidates:
Pres. Joe Biden (D-DE)
V.P.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (I-NY)
Chase Oliver (L-GA)
Rep.Dean Phillips (D-MN)
Jill Stein (Green)
Cornel West (Green Party)
Kanye West (Birthday Party)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
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