(Headline USA) President Joe Biden publicly shut down Vice President Kamala Harris during a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers in regards to an infrastructure bill, according to a book by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns.
In a meeting last May with several lawmakers, Biden was attempting to persuade the Republicans to back a $1 trillion infrastructure package, the book claims. Harris then inserted herself into the conversation “and began to make the case for a larger package than the one Republicans seemed to have in mind.”
“Biden dismissed her comment immediately,” the authors reported. So harsh was the response “that even the Republican senators were taken aback.”
The confrontation seemed to have stuck with Harris, because she began taking a more minimal role in later meetings, the authors said. In one meeting with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, for example, the governor said Harris “did not say a word.” It seemed like she was “just being deferential to the president – didn’t want to step on him.”
When Harris tried to reassert herself by pitching a portfolio assignment to manage ties with Nordic countries, the White House “rejected the idea and privately mocked it,” according to the book.
“More irritating to Biden aides was when they learned the vice president wanted to plan a major speech to outline her view of foreign policy,” the authors wrote. “Biden aides vetoed the idea. Why should a vice president have their own independently articulated view of global affairs?”
The report confirms the tension that has existed between Biden and Harris’s office. Late last year, members of Harris’s team began publicly complaining that she was being sidelined by Biden, despite his promise to make her a key voice in the administration.
One senator close to Harris alleged that her frustration with Biden is “up in the stratosphere” as her role has become more and more of a “slow rolling Greek tragedy.”