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In light of the growing number of Republican-led bills that restrict voting access, the Biden administration looks to put a stop to what critics have described as voter suppression efforts. US President Joe Biden has now tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the administration’s efforts in protecting voter rights.
Harris now takes on another responsibility as vice president by leading the Biden administration’s efforts in protecting voter rights in his remarks this week at Tulsa, Oklahoma. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre, Biden announced that he would be giving Harris the responsibility as many GOP-controlled state legislatures move to pass bills that would make it harder for Americans to vote. The latest instance was the SB7 bill proposed by the Texas GOP legislature that was recently blocked by Texas state Democrats.
“In the days and weeks ahead, I will engage the American people, and I will work with voting rights organizations, community organizations, and the private sector to help strengthen and uplift efforts on voting rights nationwide,” Harris said in a statement following Biden’s announcement. “And we will also work with members of Congress to help advance these bills.”
Both Biden and Harris have been vocal about voting rights and have been calling for Congress to pass the sweeping voter protection bills, HR1 also known as the For the People Act, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Both bills have already passed the House and are now awaiting a Senate vote, but passage in the Senate may be shaky as the upper chamber remains evenly divided despite the Democratic party controlling the majority.
Aside from voting rights, Harris is also tasked to lead the Biden administration’s efforts in stemming the migration crisis, in light of the influx of migrants that look to enter the US and crossing the border. Harris is set to travel to Mexico and Guatemala on Sunday, June 6, and will be meeting with the leaders of the two nations. This would mark Harris’ first overseas trip as vice president.
Harris’ spokesperson Symone Sanders told the press through a conference call that the vice president plans to deepen the partnerships of the US with the two nations to advance a strategy that would help tackle the root cause of migration.