•   
  •   

World Black, Latino Groups See Ally In Kamala Harris As Biden Administration Navigates First 100 Days

04:48  19 february  2021
04:48  19 february  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

Biden Plays Softball With Iran | Opinion

  Biden Plays Softball With Iran | Opinion Biden's moves to empower Iran and its Houthi proxy against the U.S.'s Arab Gulf allies will be very costly to the region and to the U.S. They make regional war more likely. They diminish U.S. regional influence, and they open the door for China and Russia to replace the U.S. as the region's superpowers.Biden's policy raises the prospect of war because he is emboldening Iran to expand its aggression, thus simultaneously convincing spurned U.S. allies that they have no choice but to take action against Iran and its nuclear program before it is truly too late.Biden is diminishing U.S.

Kamala Harris holding a sign: Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a virtual listening session at the South Court Auditorium at Eisenhower Executive Office Building on February 10, 2021 in Washington, DC. Vice President Harris, White House Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response Jeffrey Zients and COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Chair Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith hosted the session and heard from members of African American Mayors Association and discussed the urgency of passing the American Rescue Plan (ARP). (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) © Alex Wong/Getty Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a virtual listening session at the South Court Auditorium at Eisenhower Executive Office Building on February 10, 2021 in Washington, DC. Vice President Harris, White House Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response Jeffrey Zients and COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Chair Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith hosted the session and heard from members of African American Mayors Association and discussed the urgency of passing the American Rescue Plan (ARP). (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Kamala Harris has been vice president for just under a month, becoming an active partner for President Joe Biden, with ending the pandemic and pushing the economic recovery package the major priority in her work, and that of the administration.

Biden announces review of China defense stance in Pentagon visit

  Biden announces review of China defense stance in Pentagon visit President Joe Biden announced a review of the US military stance toward China, saying the country needs a "strong" approach, while pledging that his administration will use force only as a last resort. On his first visit to the Pentagon as president, Biden also sought to break from the policies of his predecessor Donald Trump, promising the US defense force to keep domestic politics out of the country's security. "I will never dishonor you, IOn his first visit to the Pentagon as president, Biden also sought to break from the policies of his predecessor Donald Trump, promising the US defense force to keep domestic politics out of the country's security.

But the vice president has also charted her own course, leaning into being the first woman and first woman of color in the role to connect with groups that will be key to the administration's success as the recovery unfolds.

On Thursday, Harris met with Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Representative Barbara Lee, and members of women's advocacy groups including the Black Women's Roundtable, the National Association of Women Business Owners, and the National Congress of American Indians, to discuss what she termed, in a recent Washington Post op-ed, the "national emergency" of 2.5 million women leaving the workforce since the beginning of the pandemic.

Last week, she met with members of the African American Mayors Association, along with the White House Coordinator for COVID-19 Response, Jeffrey Zients, and COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force Chair Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith.

Biden, Xi face off in marathon two-hour call

  Biden, Xi face off in marathon two-hour call US President Joe Biden revealed Thursday that his first phone call with Xi Jinping lasted a marathon two hours, during which he challenged his Chinese counterpart on human rights, trade and regional muscle-flexing. "Last night, I was in the phone for two straight hours with Xi Jinping," Biden told reporters -- an unusually long interaction for a US president, with whom even face-to-face meetings rarely stretch beyond an hour. Biden warned afterwards that if the United States doesn't "get moving" on China policy, "they're going to eat our lunch.

Harris outreach to women's groups and communities of color has thus far been linked to the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan legislative package, which is the overarching concern of the White House, but she has also been able to use the historic nature of her role to bring that message to groups she says can not be left out of the recovery.

Even before being sworn-in, Harris joined a call with Biden, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), and the U.S. Black Chambers (USBC). While Biden preached patience and warned the group that his first 100 days agenda was bursting at the seams due to the depth of the crises facing the nation and urgent need to get millions of Americans vaccinated as a first priority, Harris stepped in to pivot the conversation back to the group's small business concerns, which was appreciated by the USHCC.

As evidence of her approach as VP, Harris sought to highlight common ground with the groups, those at the meeting told Newsweek, talking about coming from a community of color, and of immigrants, and representing a majority-minority state as a California senator.

Biden admin ends Trump-era Houthi ‘terrorist’ designation

  Biden admin ends Trump-era Houthi ‘terrorist’ designation Aid groups said the designation threatened to stifle aid and cripple the economy in war-torn Yemen.The move comes as the Biden administration continues to change tack on the US approach to the war in Yemen, announcing on February 4 that it would end the US support for offensive operations for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition that intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015, a year after the northern-based Houthis kicked President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour out of the capital Sanaa.

"She said she would be an advocate for systemic change and for a commitment to small businesses," USHCC president Ramiro Cavazos said. "She referenced her commitment to small businesses getting the capital they need to rebuild the economy."

However, those commitments will be tested.

During the campaign, Biden made promises from immigration and criminal justice reform to capital for small businesses, and Black and Latino advocacy groups who feel they did their part helping him win the election, will not be lenient on the White House timeline to see changes implemented.

Driven by the weather and power issues devastating Texas, for example, Cavazos told Newsweek he was drafting a letter to the White House to reiterate the USHCC's call to create a Hispanic small business task force "sooner rather than later. "We're nearing the midway point of his first 100 days and we want to get started on that in terms of who needs to serve and begin planning," he said.

Harris is at almost every one of Biden's meetings, according to a White House aide, but the partnership also means sharing the work of leading the country. When the American Rescue Plan was announced in mid-January, Biden called state governors, while Harris called mayors in U.S. cities.

U.S. Refers to Palestinians After Delayed Netanyahu Call, Israel Does Not

  U.S. Refers to Palestinians After Delayed Netanyahu Call, Israel Does Not The White House said Biden "underscored the importance of working to advance peace throughout the region, including between Israelis and Palestinians," but Netanyahu's office made no such reference in its own account.The White House said Biden "underscored the importance of working to advance peace throughout the region, including between Israelis and Palestinians," but Netanyahu's office made no such reference to long-running dispute in its own account of Wednesday's call.

But her influence is felt beyond lightening Biden's workload. One hallmark of the new administration's approach to the coronavirus is a focus on equity, a belief that one of the chief goals of responding to the pandemic includes "mitigating inequities" facing communities of color "caused or exacerbated" by the virus. When the administration announced the COVID Health Equity Taskforce it was taking its cues from similar legislation introduced by Harris in the Senate, a bill that the White House aide called "foundational" to the creation of the task force.

In February, the vice president joined Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a virtual meeting with the USBC and Black chambers across the country. Yellen began by sharing the story that after being sworn-in, the first thing Harris asked her afterward was about working on providing more capital to community development financial institutions and minority depository institutions to "serve communities that the wider financial system hasn't served well, particularly people of color."

Harris began by stating that 40 percent to 50 percent of Black businesses have closed due to the pandemic, perhaps permanently, which is why the community needs the help of the relief package. "Black businesses, of course, are engaged in the business of keeping America running," she said.

Rush Limbaugh's wife Kathryn, 44 will inherit his $51M Florida mansion

  Rush Limbaugh's wife Kathryn, 44 will inherit his $51M Florida mansion Rush Limbaugh's widow Kathryn is set to inherit the $51million Palm Beach property he called his permanent home after quitting New York City in 2010, according to reports.

But asked by a chamber leader about how to ensure the American Rescue Plan aids Black communities, Harris again drew a line from vaccinations to boosting the economy and communities of color. She said federally supported vaccination centers like the one that just opened this week at the Oakland Coliseum were part of the $400 billion in the plan to help stop the pandemic, which she said was the first time the federal government has come in to support states regarding vaccinations. She said vaccination centers and mobile vaccination sites were a "very big deal," including for people in rural communities who don't have access to transportation and can't afford to be left out of the process.

USBC President Ron Busby was grateful for the opportunity to engage the Biden administration, but said there is more work to be done and conversations to be had, which Harris echoed on the call.

"We met with her during her first 30 days as vice president, which is significant to the Black business community," he said, but noted that Black businesses will need concrete policy changes. "Black people felt like there was a great investment made on their part in regards to their vote. So yes, we plan on being a partner with the administration, but that means there needs to be transparency and accountability as well."

As they did during the campaign, those close to the Biden administration note that he too can speak to communities of color, and often has, but Harris has also been deployed for interviews in Los Angeles and Grand Rapids, Michigan, with African American radio stations, sharing news that community health centers were opening with federal funding, and addressing the skepticism about the vaccine among Black Americans. When Harris received her first vaccine dose, for example, she intentionally did so in southeast Washington, D.C., an area that is predominantly Black and Latino.

Is Joe Biden Catholic Enough to Take Communion?

  Is Joe Biden Catholic Enough to Take Communion? Some bishops—and many conservative laypeople—think the second Catholic president should be denied access to one of the faith’s most important sacraments.If some Catholic leaders had their way, Biden wouldn’t be able to take Communion at all. A committee of bishops recently gathered to examine the “difficult and complex situation” of a Catholic president who publicly supports expanding abortion rights, contrary to the faith’s teachings. Later this year, a representative of that group will likely offer guidance on Biden’s future ability to take Communion. For now, the cardinal who oversees Washington, D.C.

Sergio Gonzales, the executive director of the Immigration Hub, who did work on the transition, said Biden is using his own experience working with President Barack Obama as the framework for working with his own vice president, but said the unique challenges of the moment are also informing the working relationship.

"One thing that drives the strong partnership, and her being so engaged as vice president, is there is so much to f***ing do," he said. "They came in at a point with multiple crises, a historic pandemic and really difficult economic situation, people in hunger lines, and relationships across the world burnt by the last administration."

Natural allies for the administration include "the same Black-Brown coalition that helped elect them in November," he said.

Harris' work has obviously not been limited to engaging advocacy groups, with recent calls to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron, also among her foreign policy outreach.

"The fact that she is in meetings with the president and also making calls to foreign leaders like Trudeau and Macron, on top of talking about the economy, and how the country recovers from COVID-19, means she's a key part of repairing some of the damage done in the previous administration," a White House official told Newsweek.

Though the vice president has a natural ability to engage with and energize these groups, future political considerations can not be discounted, said Peter Jeffrey Kuznick, a professor who specializes in 20th- and 21st-century presidents at American University.

Tracing the history of vice presidents who became president or were interested in the top role, Lyndon B. Johnson had strong connections having been Senate Majority Leader, and George H.W. Bush was a former head of the CIA and had international experience, Kuznick said. But Mike Pence, who clearly has presidential aspirations, strongly tied himself to Trump and his movement, which may not have ended well for him given the fallout of the U.S. Capitol attack.

Biden's Criticism of Trump's Soleimani Strike Resurfaces After He Orders Syria Attack

  Biden's Criticism of Trump's Soleimani Strike Resurfaces After He Orders Syria Attack Biden approved airstrikes on Iranian-backed Iraqi militia fighters in Syria in retaliation for a rocket attack on American troops in Iraqi Kurdistan."The last thing we need is another war in the Middle East," Biden said on January 5, 2020.

Harris, he said, must continue to strengthen her bonafides to make her a well-rounded candidate as early as 2024.

"She's clearly a potential presidential candidate in the future, who is focused on that moreso than some other VPs," he said. "Harris compared to most of the others comes in with less experience and needs to network to gain credibility, stature, and experience."

But if that work by Harris was going on during the USBC meeting, the connections didn't appear forced.

Beginning the meeting, she looked at a giant virtual screen filled with Black chamber heads across the country, noting that she saw many friends and familiar faces, the faces of national leaders, she said.

And she thanked Busby, the USBC president, before turning to the agenda.

"I thank you for bringing us together, my Oakland brother," she said with a laugh.

Related Articles

  • Some Democrats Want to Reform ICE and Fire Leadership, But Biden Has No Plans To Go That Far
  • Black, Latino Businesses Pushing White House for Policy Agenda to Address Economic Disparities
  • Black, Hispanic Caucuses Apply Pressure to Biden to Reign in ICE, Deportations
  • Exclusive: Advocacy Groups Say Biden's 'Disappointing' Immigration Policies Don't Go Far Enough

Start your unlimited Newsweek trial

Biden's Criticism of Trump's Soleimani Strike Resurfaces After He Orders Syria Attack .
Biden approved airstrikes on Iranian-backed Iraqi militia fighters in Syria in retaliation for a rocket attack on American troops in Iraqi Kurdistan."The last thing we need is another war in the Middle East," Biden said on January 5, 2020.

usr: 0
This is interesting!