Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), just won re-election for her 13th term in the U.S. House, but she could be headed to the higher chamber.
The progressive congresswoman is regularly named as a possible replacement for Kamala Harris, who will soon move to the White House as Vice President-elect. Lee joined CapRadio’s Nicole Nixon for the latest episode of the new podcast California State of Mind to discuss the presidential election and possibly replacing Harris in the Senate. Listen to Nixon's full conversation with Lee here.
On her friend Kamala Harris’ victory as Vice President-elect
While I was personally excited, I was so happy for the country and happy for our state. And I think more people now realize why I endorsed her for president because she's fully prepared. She's a person of integrity. She's a fighter and she's a trailblazer.
We know Kamala and we know how, as vice president, she's going to move the country forward to attack and crush this virus, to create economic opportunities and address the economic and health impacts of this terrible pandemic and also to bring the country together.
On possibly filling Harris’ U.S. Senate seat
Certainly, it would be an honor. But I think that the governor really, through this process, knows exactly who he thinks will best represent California and best represent the agenda of which Senator Harris has put forth in the Senate.
On President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the election and baseless claims of voter fraud
This is nothing that we did not expect. I have always said that he is the greatest national security threat, even before this moment. When you see his moves in the last four years: his agenda, what he has done in terms of dismantling the government, in terms of consolidating power within the White House, in terms of trying to ignore the three branches of government in our democracy — clearly, he is acting as strong men act and as dictators act. And it's outrageous. It's un-American.
The Republicans, if they consider themselves patriots and if they consider themselves upholding the Constitution, they should weigh in and say enough is enough and move forward and engage in this peaceful transition.
On the possibility of continuing gridlock in Congress if Republicans maintain control of the Senate
[Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell is going to have to work with President [Joe] Biden and Vice President Harris to bring forth a plan — and I wish we could do this in November — to attack this virus. When you look at how many people are dying because of the lack of leadership, the disproportionate rates of deaths and the virus transmission with communities of color, this is a national emergency. Mitch McConnell's constituents are dying also. His constituents are suffering from the loss of jobs.
I think the president-elect will be able to help work and bring the Senate on board to make sure that some of the big issues that affect even his constituents are addressed.
On the timeline for another round of pandemic relief
We're working day and night to try to get a bill that Mitch McConnell will embrace. Having said that, we have passed the Heroes Act twice. We have listened to what Republicans wanted. This is something that we have to do. We have to do this quicky, and we have to understand that this should be bipartisan. We've got to attack the virus as well as the economic impacts together. People deserve that additional $600 a week or their unemployment compensation, and it should be retroactive.
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