VP Harris talks border crisis, infrastructure in exclusive interview

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (NewsNation Now) — Vice President Kamala Harris plans to focus on “long-range causes of the border crisis,” focusing on diplomacy.

President Joe Biden tasked Harris with dealing with the challenges his administration faces at the border, but Wednesday, her job was selling the American Jobs Act in Rhode Island.

Harris spoke exclusively with NewsNation reporter Ted Nesi. Watch in the player above.

Nesi: You were in the Senate. You know no one ever gets 100% of what they want to pass a bill in the U.S. Senate. Some of the Republicans are talking about if you split up the jobs plan, they might give bipartisan support to the more traditional infrastructure part, and the Democrats can do what they want to the rest. Is the administration open to splitting the bill?

Harris: I’m not going to negotiate with you, but thank you for asking. But, we are absolutely sincere in our desire to work in a bipartisan way, and as the president said in the joint session of Congress, we have been having meetings in the Oval Office. He and I, with bipartisan members of Congress, and we sincerely hope we can find a solution.

“We are absolutely sincere in our desire to work in a bipartisan way.”

Vice President Kamala Harris

Nesi: Let’s talk about the border. President Biden has tasked you with working on the root causes of the migrant crisis. I listened to the speech he gave yesterday and the issues. We’re talking about corruption, climate change; they sound like they might take a generation to fix. How do you see that fitting into fixing the acute short-term crisis at the border?

Harris: So I have been asked by the president, and I have taken charge of what we need to do to recognize there are the issues at the border that need to be addressed and the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security are dealing with that. We also need to deal with the long-standing, to your point, acute issues and long-term root causes.

Aides to Harris said she will focus on diplomatic relations with Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. In the interview with NewsNation affiliate WPRI-TV, Harris also discussed why she made the stop to the state.