Kamala Harris

Read Kamala Harris’ positions on all 11 planks of the Pledge Agenda.
Scroll down – or click a plank in the outline below to jump to specific positions.

I. Jobs for All – by Investing in Rebuilding America and a Green New Deal
1. Jobs for All – Created by Rebuilding America
2. Invest in a Green Economy
II. Fight Inequality
3. Empower Workers to Reduce Inequality
4. Opportunity and Justice for All – With Focus on Communities Harmed by Racism
5. Guarantee Women’s Economic Equality
III. A New Social Contract – for Income and Retirement Security – and Healthcare and Education for All

6. High Quality Public Education – Pre-K to University
7. Medicare for All – And Shared Economic Security
IV. Stop Corporations, Banks, and the Wealthy from Controlling Our Economy and Our Democracy
8. Make Corporations and the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share
9. Close Wall Street’s Casino
10. Rescue Democracy from Special Interests
V. A Global Strategy for Working Americans

11. A Global Strategy for Working Americans

I. Jobs for All – by Investing in Rebuilding America and a Green New Deal
1. Jobs for All – Created by Rebuilding America

2. Invest in a Green Economy

  • Sen. Kamala Harris co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution, which sets a goal of getting 100 percent of U.S. electricity from renewable energy. Harris – at a town Hall in Iowa – exclaimed “I support a Green New Deal. Climate change is an existential threat to all of us, and we have got to deal with the reality of it.” (The Hill, 01/28/19)
  • It should be noted that Harris is one four candidates who has not signed the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, pledging not to accept any money from the oil, gas, or coal industries for his presidential campaign. (New Republic, 03/19/19)

II. Fight Inequality
3. Empower Workers to Reduce Inequality

4. Opportunity and Justice for All – With a Focus on Communities Harmed by Racism

  • Regarding U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Harris believes it’s time to “re-examine” ICE and “probably think about starting from scratch.” She has not joined other Democrats — including 2020 rivals Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand — in explicitly calling for ICE to be abolished. (PBS). However, Harris has long championed federal action on DACA (Glamour, 01/31/19).
  • Also, Harris introduced a bill to improve oversight at immigration detention centers, and a bill to strengthen protections for unaccompanied migrant children in U.S. custody. (PBS, 01/21/19)
  • In 2018, Harris proposed legislation aimed at providing rental relief to combat the high cost of rents in major U.S. cities. The plan would give tax credits to renters who make less than $100,000 a year but spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent (including utilities) — a widely used gauge of housing affordability. The size of the benefit increases for poorer families and decreases higher up the income distribution. The credit also would be refundable, meaning taxpayers could receive payments even if their tax liability were $0, and those in particularly expensive areas could earn up to $125,000 and still receive the credit. Harris’s plan would benefit at least 13 million Americans and is similar to a plan written by the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California at Berkeley, estimated to cost $76 billion. (Washington Post, 01/21/19)
  • Harris has proposed legislation to reform cash bail, creating a three-year $10 million grant program to encourage states to figure out how to find alternatives to their cash bail systems.(Washington Post, 01/21/19)
  • “America must legalize and regulate marijuana. Then we need to expunge nonviolent marijuana-related offenses from the records of the millions of people who have been arrested and incarcerated so that they can get on with their lives.” (Harris, Twitter)
  • On reparations to African-Americans: “The term reparations, it means different things to different people. But what I mean by it is that we need to study the effects of generations of discrimination and institutional racism and determine what can be done, in terms of intervention, to correct course.” (NPR, 03/14/19)
  • Harris has said that funding for mental health treatment for African-Americans could be one form of reparations. “You can look at the issue of untreated and undiagnosed trauma. African-Americans have higher rates of heart disease and high blood pressure. It is environmental. It is centuries of slavery, which was a form of violence where women were raped, where children were taken from their parents – violence associated with slavery. And that never – there was never any real intervention to break up what had been generations of people experiencing the highest forms of trauma. And trauma, undiagnosed and untreated, leads to physiological outcomes.” (NPR, 03/14/19)

5. Guarantee Women’s Economic Equality

  • Has urged Congress to follow California’s lead and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would require employers to prove that wage discrepancies between men and women aren’t the result of gender discrimination. (Vox, 03/27/19)
  • “Equal pay isn’t only about fairness and justice for women in the workforce. It’s about justice for families. Four out of 10 mothers are their family’s primary or only wage earner, meaning that today “B” stands not for “Broad” but for “Breadwinner.” Less money in a woman’s pocket means less money to pay for gas and groceries. It means less for childcare and college tuition. And, because the pay gap persists after leaving the workforce, it means less for retirement.” (Harris Op-ed Vogue)
  • “It’s time to pass a federal law to require national paid family and sick leave.” (Harris, Twitter, 04/06/17)
  • As Attorney General, she sponsored legislation to ensure that crisis pregnancy centers provide women medically accurate information about the full range of reproductive services. (kamalaharris.org)
  • “It’s a woman’s issue to care about climate change. It’s a woman’s issue to want comprehensive immigration reform. It’s a woman’s issue to think about criminal justice reform (and) It’s a woman’s issue to care about reproductive healthcare and the affordable care act. It’s a woman’s issue to care about so many of these things. Women are not and should not be relegated to being a stereotype or a trope.” (USA Today, 06/14/17)

III. A New Social Contract – for Income and Retirement Security – and Healthcare and Education for All
6. High Quality Public Education – Pre-K to University

  • Harris has endorsed the “College for All Act” proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. This would create a government funding program that would pay for tuition and fees at public colleges and universities for students with incomes of $125,000 a year or less. This would be funded by a fee on Wall Street firms of 0.5 percent per stock trade. She supports expanding Head Start and Early Head Start, and would create a “national universal prekindergarten,” though she has not yet offered specifics for that plan. (PBS)
  • Harris has announced her plan to improve teacher salaries across the country with “the largest federal investment in teachers in American history,” pledging to close the teacher pay gap by the end of her first term as president. (CNN, 03/24/19)

7. Medicare for All – And Shared Economic Security

  • In September 2017, Harris co-sponsored Sanders’s “Medicare-for-all” bill, which would ban private health insurance and transition the U.S. to a government-run health system within four years. The bill offers a few funding options, including a new tax on the wealthiest 0.1 percent, and a new premium based on income.
  • Harris has also introduced bills to increase access to mental health care and address high maternal mortality rates for black women. (PBS, 03/21/19)
  • In 2018, Harris proposed legislation aimed at providing Make Corporations and the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share”>rental relief to combat the high cost of rents in major U.S. cities. The plan would give tax credits to renters who make less than $100,000 a year but spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent (including utilities) — a widely used gauge of housing affordability. The size of the benefit increases for poorer families and decreases higher up the income distribution. The credit also would be refundable, meaning taxpayers could receive payments even if their tax liability were $0, and those in particularly expensive areas could earn up to $125,000 and still receive the credit. Harris’s plan would benefit at least 13 million Americans and is similar to a plan written by the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California at Berkeley, estimated to cost $76 billion. (Washington Post, 01/21/19)

IV. Stop Corporations, Banks, and the Wealthy from Controlling Our Economy and Our Democracy
8. Make Corporations and the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share

  • Harris has proposed the LIFT the Middle Class Act, which would give a $3,000 refundable tax credit to individuals making $50,000 or less and $6,000 for married couples earning under $100,000. She would pay for the multi-trillion-dollar plan by eliminating some of the tax cuts put in place by the Republican-sponsored Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and by creating a new tax or fee on some banks and financial institutions (PBS, 03/21/19) Aids have said that Harris’ $2.8 trillion tax plan for middle- and working-class families will be a centerpiece of her campaign. (Washington Post, 01/21/19)
    • (*Criticism: Some analysts are critical of the tax plan, including Matt Bruenig, founder of the People’s Policy Project, who wrote that the plan reflects a policy design that “perversely exclude[s] the most needy from assistance in favor of those who are on the rung just above them.”)
  • Has stated that there is “no question” Dems need to repeal 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Union Leader, 02/19/19)
  • Sen. Harris has said that her proposal to give teachers a pay raise would be funded by an increase in the estate tax. (The Hill, 03/26/19)

9. Close Wall Street’s Casino

10. Rescue Democracy from Special Interests

  • Harris supports automatic voter registration, granting voting rights to the formerly incarcerated, making Election Day a national holiday, and statehood for Washington DC (all in accordance with the rest of the Democratic candidates). Meanwhile, her views on Puerto Rican self-determination are unclear and lowering the voting age to 16 are still unclear. (Washington Post, 02/11/19)
  • Harris says she is “open to” eliminating the electoral college in favor of the popular vote, eliminating the Senate filibuster, adding justices to “pack” the Supreme Court, and implementing a term limit for Supreme Court justices. (Washington Post, 02/11/19)

V. A Global Strategy for Working Americans
11. A Global Strategy for Working Americans

  • As a Senate candidate in 2016, Harris opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, arguing that the proposed trade deal with 11 Asian countries didn’t do enough to protect workers and environmental regulations. Harris has opposed the Trump administration’s tariffs and escalating trade dispute with China. Last year, she supported a bipartisan, non-binding resolution in the Senate that rebuked the Trump administration over its tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico. Harris also co-wrote a letter with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer opposing U.S. tariffs on Chinese electronic goods, saying the tariffs would hurt California’s economy. (PBS, 01/21/19)
  • “While we agree with the findings of your office’s recent investigation into China’s unfair industrial policies and outright theft of American intellectual property, we are concerned that the Administration’s trade actions are counterproductive to its goal of ensuring a level playing field for American companies…We urge the Administration to rethink its escalating tariffs and instead urgently convene negotiations with China on its discriminatory industrial policies and intellectual property practices.” (Feinstein press release, 08/16/18)
  • Harris said she supports a “political solution” to the war that would allow U.S. troops to return home. She has not taken a public position on Trump’s planned U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and Syria. (PBS, 01/21/19)