Vice President Harris visits Seattle, discusses climate crisis, economy

Aug 15, 2023, 8:10 PM

Image: Vice President Kamala Harris spoke in Seattle on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023...

Vice President Kamala Harris spoke in Seattle on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023 (Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

(Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

Vice President Kamala Harris returned to Seattle Tuesday and delivered a speech about the climate crisis and the economy and what the current administration is doing to combat both.

Harris said that she and President Joe Biden “have committed nearly $1 trillion to build a thriving, clean energy economy for America.”

“One year ago, President Biden and I made the largest climate investment in America’s history,” Vice President Harris said, as noted by her press office. “We are creating millions of good-paying clean energy jobs, we are rebuilding America’s manufacturing, and we are driving American innovation – something this state knows so well.”

Specifically, she was in town officially to mark the one-year anniversary of of the Inflation Reduction Act being signed into law and how it’s helping hold down prices and climate change. President Biden signed the bill Aug. 16, 2022.

“Together, we are building a clean-energy economy and through all our work, President Biden and I are building an economy that works for working people,” Harris said at McKinstry, a nationwide construction and energy company based in Seattle.

According to a pool report, the vice president told the crowd the climate change clock was not ticking, but “booming.”

She described solar panel infrastructure built around the country under the Biden administration and other investments in low-cost, clean energy.

“All of these investments create jobs – good-paying, union jobs,” the vice president added. “Jobs for workers like many of those who are here with us today, including plumbers and pipefitters, and members of IBEW, and Sheet Metal workers, and the kind of folk who are just some of the most skilled and experienced workers in our nation .”

Seattle Democratic Mayor Bruce Harrell gave opening remarks at the event. Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., spoke after Harrell.

According to a White House official, Harris also spent part of her time in Seattle Tuesday meeting with recent high school graduates to hear how the Inflation Reduction Act is positively impacting the future workforce.

After the event in Seattle, Vice President Harris traveled to Medina to attend a campaign fundraising event at residence of Beth McCaw and Yahn Bernier. It is in support of the Biden Victory Fund. The event was be co-hosted by Microsoft president Brad Smith.

The Seattle Times reported last week that donors who attended the event paid $5,000 per person, with higher-level donation tiers of $10,000 and $25,000 granting a photo with the vice president, and $50,000 securing a “host” designation.

Harris’ plane landed at Boeing field late Tuesday morning and she came to Seattle with second gentleman Doug Emhoff.

Secretary Buttigieg in Washington: State’s growth means ‘infrastructure needs to keep up’

Tuesday’s appearance was the vice president’s second visit to Seattle since taking office. She came to the city last October to promote that money from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was being used to deliver electric school buses to school districts in the state of Washington and around the country.

The Associated Press (AP) noted in 2022 that the Inflation Reduction Act  would “touch countless American lives with longtime party proposals.” The legislation included, “The biggest investment ever in the U.S. to fight climate change. A hard-fought cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients. A new corporate minimum tax to ensure big businesses pay their share. And billions left over to pay down federal deficits.”

The bill narrowly passed in the House and Harris had to cast the tie-breaking vote to get it through the Senate.

Column from Michael Medved: The GOP should target Kamala Harris early and often

Biden completed his own western swing recently, making stops in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, known as a Republican stronghold. The AP said the trip was to “(showcase) his work on conservation, clean energy and veterans’ benefits as he seeks to draw an implicit contrast between his administration’s accomplishments and former President Donald Trump’s legal troubles.”

Contributing: L.B. Gilbert

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Vice President Harris visits Seattle, discusses climate crisis, economy