Harris, in optimistic speech, says America ‘getting back to work’

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Vice President Harris said Saturday touted the United States’ progress amid the coronavirus pandemic, proclaiming during an optimistic speech that America is “getting back to work.”

Harris made the remarks during a speech in Las Vegas, Nev., as members of the Biden administration travel for what the White House has called the “America is Back Together” tour for the Fourth of July.

Speaking at the Carpenters International Training Center, Harris proclaimed that America is celebrating its resilience “coming back together” after over a year of precautions due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“This weekend is the weekend where now in particular all across our nation, high school bands will march in parades and families will gather for backyard barbecues. Children will watch and wonder as fireworks light up our night sky. And we will celebrate together, our nation’s independence,” Harris said.

“And this year, not only will we celebrate our independence. We will celebrate our nation’s resilience,” she continued. “Because this year, America is coming back together. Because this year, America is getting back to work.”

The news comes amid declining coronavirus infections and deaths in the U.S., as well a promising jobs report from the Labor Department released Friday. 

In her speech, Harris touted the Labor Department’s June jobs report, which showed that the U.S. exceeded expectations, adding 850,000 jobs last month. She also reaffirmed the administration’s support for unions.

She further touted the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure proposal, which was thrown into doubt after President Biden suggested that he wouldn’t sign it unless it was paired with a reconciliation bill including other key items in his agenda.

Biden later clarified his remarks which appeared to appease some moderate Republicans.

However, Biden has also faced criticism within his own party from progressives who voiced concerns that the bipartisan bill doesn’t do enough to address climate change, especially if it was the only bill for infrastructure passed.

The deal provides $974 billion over five years, and is aimed at working on “core, physical infrastructure.” It would also provide $579 billion in new funding over what would otherwise be spent without new legislation.

Harris tied the infrastructure proposal to the administration’s pledge to be the most “pro-union administration” in U.S. history proclaiming that it will crate “good, union jobs.”

“The jobs we create through the bipartisan infrastructure framework are you don’t need to guess. It’s gonna be good, union jobs,” Harris said. “The reality is, when workers are heard. When unions are strong. Our economy is strong, and nation is strong. Our people our strong.”

Harris along with President Biden have fanned out to promote the country’s progress amid the pandemic despite news that the delta variant of the disease, first identified in India, continues to spread in the U.S. 

Health experts warn that the Biden administration should be careful about taking a victory lap in the face of the new variant which has set some unvaccinated pockets of the U.S. back. 

Harris on Saturday tasked the audience in Las Vegas to encourage others to get vaccinated. 

“Help us to urge folks and say to them ‘look, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get the shot’,” Harris said. “And if you already have. Let’s talk to somebody else we know who hasn’t and let them know now is the time to get this done.”

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