Harris welcomes the women of the Senate for dinner, building bridges with homemade cheese puffs.


Vice President Kamala Harris threw a non-public ceremonial dinner at the Naval Observatory on Tuesday night time for the 16 Democratic and eight Republican women serving as U.S. senators, a gathering that got here at a tense second in negotiations on a quantity of the Biden administration’s greatest ambitions.

The bipartisan dinner was the first social occasion Ms. Harris had hosted since coming into workplace 5 months in the past — her transfer to the official vice-presidential residence was delayed for three months as a result of of renovations — and the outreach to her former Senate colleagues got here as Ms. Harris has taken the lead on the administration’s push to pass voting rights legislation.

All 24 women in the Senate have been invited, in line with an administration official. All however three — Cindy Hyde-Smith, Republican of Mississippi; Cynthia Lummis, Republican of Wyoming; and Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat of Arizona — attended.

Photos posted online after the event by Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan, confirmed about 20 of the senators seated collectively.

Ms. Stabenow posted a photograph that confirmed the vp giving a toast to the group, flanked by Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, and Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington. She additionally shared a photo of cheese puffs that she stated Ms. Harris, recognized for her love of cooking, created from scratch for the group.

Senator Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee, was scheduled to seem on Sean Hannity’s present on Fox News straight after the dinner to offer viewers an “inside look at the event,” Mr. Hannity tweeted.

With simply six weeks left earlier than Congress’s August recess, the Biden agenda seems to be stalled whereas Republicans attempt to derail the president’s financial plans and delay any Democratic modifications previous the level the place they are often carried out earlier than the 2022 elections.

There are intraparty fights to deal with, as properly. Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, remains opposed to the voting rights legislation that Ms. Harris is championing for the administration and to ending the Senate filibuster, which may very well be used to derail Biden priorities.

Two Democrats invited to the dinner, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, are half of a bipartisan group of senators that’s negotiating an alternative choice to the president’s infrastructure plan that does not address key Democratic priorities, like local weather change. The plan doesn’t have the assist of a majority of Republicans, and progressives like Senator Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, have already come out against it.

Ms. Harris has not been a key participant in infrastructure negotiations and was not recognized for her shut relationships with colleagues on Capitol Hill throughout her 4 years in the Senate, a piece of which she spent working for president.

But as vp — and the tiebreaking vote in the evenly divided Senate — she has taken on some of the administration’s most tough targets. Besides the voting rights push, Ms. Harris has additionally been tasked with stemming the flow of migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border by addressing the root causes in international locations like Guatemala that push migrants north.





Source link