Vice President Kamala Harris’s office announced plans for her to fly to Nashville, Tennessee, on Friday afternoon to meet with state legislators. The decision came shortly after Tennessee Republicans expelled two Democratic lawmakers from the state legislature due to their involvement in a protest calling for increased gun control in response to a fatal school shooting in Nashville. Though Harris initially had no public events scheduled for Friday, she was quick to condemn the GOP’s actions in a tweet, describing them as “undemocratic and dangerous.”
The bipartisan meeting with state legislators will provide Harris with an opportunity to discuss essential topics such as gun control, voting rights, and other priorities for the Biden administration. Specifically, she is expected to address the recent expulsion of the two Democratic lawmakers and communicate her support for their efforts to promote gun control measures in the state.
The expulsion of the two Democratic lawmakers – Reps. London Lamar and Gloria Johnson – occurred on Thursday when the Tennessee GOP stripped them of their committee assignments, accusing them of engaging in disorderly conduct and disrespecting the legislative process. The expulsion followed a protest held on Tuesday, which saw the two lawmakers join gun control advocates in calling for stricter gun laws in the wake of a deadly school shooting at an east Nashville school on August 30.
Gun control has been a divisive subject in the United States, with many Republicans opposing stricter measures, arguing that they infringe on the constitutional right to bear arms. In contrast, Democrats, including Harris, have argued that increased gun control is necessary to reduce gun violence and protect public safety.
In a tweet on Friday, Harris wrote, “The GOP’s move in Tennessee to expel two Democratic lawmakers who advocated for gun control in the wake of a school shooting is undemocratic and dangerous. We need leaders who will stand up to the gun lobby, not silence those who dare to speak out.”
Harris’s visit to Nashville highlights the commitment of the Biden administration to address gun violence at the state level. The trip also underscores the increasing importance of addressing state-level policies for the White House, given the ongoing gridlock in the United States Congress.
While the Republican-controlled Tennessee legislature has been reluctant to pursue gun control measures, it has advanced several bills concerning voting restrictions, which have garnered national attention. Harris’s visit to Nashville may also serve as an opportunity for her to express the administration’s concerns regarding these voting restrictions and reiterate the importance of protecting voting rights.
Harris has been a vocal advocate for stronger gun control measures throughout her career. As a senator, she co-sponsored legislation to prohibit the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as to expand background checks on gun sales. Harris has also helped lead the administration’s efforts to address the root causes of migration from Central America and promote voting rights during her tenure as vice president.
The vice president’s visit to Tennessee comes at a critical time for the Biden administration, which is seeking to solidify its agenda and make progress on key issues such as gun control, voting rights, and infrastructure. By meeting with state legislators from both parties and supporting Democratic lawmakers who advocate for these measures, Harris can help reinforce the administration’s message and demonstrate its commitment to addressing these essential topics at the state level.
In conclusion, Vice President Kamala Harris’s trip to Nashville, Tennessee, primarily serves as a show of support for the two Democratic lawmakers expelled from the state legislature, demonstrating the Biden administration’s commitment to addressing gun control measures and setting the tone for future conversations on the subject. Furthermore, the visit provides an opportunity for Harris to engage with state legislators on other critical issues, such as voting rights and infrastructure, emphasizing the White House’s focus on state-level policies amid ongoing congressional gridlock. As the Biden administration seeks to advance its agenda, Harris’s visit to Tennessee signals that the White House is dedicated to engaging with state governments to achieve progress on key priorities.