Kamala Harris Misses Vote on California Disaster Relief to Campaign for President

Park Billow, 27, sprays water on the hot spots in his backyard as the Woolsey Fire burns in Malibu, Calif., Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. Authorities announced Friday that a quarter of a million people are under evacuation orders as wind-whipped flames rage through scenic areas west of Los Angeles and …
AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

Democratic presidential contender Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) missed a key vote on disaster relief for her home state of California this week because she was too busy campaigning for president to attend Senate proceedings.

Harris, a first-term U.S. Senator who began preparing for a presidential run as soon as she arrived in Washington, also missed a variety of other important votes this week because she was away campaigning, as Politico noted:

When the Senate took contentious votes this week on a disaster aid package to help California rebuild after wildfires, Sen. Kamala Harris was in Sacramento — courting the support of labor unions for her presidential campaign.

A day later, Harris was stumping in Nevada when she missed a Tuesday vote on the start of a Republican maneuver to speed up confirmation of President Donald Trump’s judicial and executive branch nominees. Harris was still in Nevada Wednesday when the Senate took more votes, including a historic vote in which Senate Republicans used the so-called nuclear option to finalize their plan to expedite Trump’s nominees.

The missed votes highlight the challenge she and five of her Democratic Senate colleagues face as they struggle to balance their day jobs with the increasing demands of a presidential campaign.

Harris’s absence may prove a liability as the campaign heats up. Democrats had hoped to use President Donald Trump’s threats to withhold wildfire aid from California in attacks on the president. However, that task will be harder for Harris if she has to explain why she herself was absent from the Senate during the vote for funding.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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