After a brief campaign stop in Muscatine on August 12th, Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris returned to Muscatine on Friday, November 22nd. In this more extensive stop, she addressed potential voters at the Missipi Brew (the Brew) and gave a press conference at the Merrill Hotel beforehand.
At the press conference, in response to Discover Muscatine’s questions, Harris shared that she came back to Muscatine because of, “you! I’m back in Muscatine to speak to the folks here . . . and to listen to them, and of course, to hope to earn their support. . .. It is my intention to cover as much ground as I can in the entire state, and so, I’m spending time in communities that have a larger population and then smaller ones. There are a lot of universal and common concerns and issues.”
To elaborate on the issues she had in mind, she explained she specifically wanted to, “address issues like the economy, and issues for so many families that are about the injustice of a system that has not been working for working people and what we’re going to do to fix it. I’m going to talk about, I know that Muscatine, for example, has a very big Latino population who are concerned, as everyone is and most Democrats are, with what’s happening in terms of immigration policy.” She added she also planned to discuss, “healthcare, a big issue, around the state and here in Muscatine.”
Harris then went to the Brew to address a wider audience. Shannon McNaul, a Kamala Captain from West Liberty, introduced her. She then began her speech, sharing her story of becoming a prosecutor to carry on the legacy of fighting for civil rights her parents began and establishing the theme of justice she intended to apply to various policy areas.
Harris started by tackling economic inequality. To support middle and working class people struggling to make ends meet, she proposed putting, “in place the largest middle class tax cut we’re had in generations, which is for families that make less than $100 thousand per year, they’ll get a tax credit of up to $6,000 per year that they can take home at $500 per month. To fund this cut, Harris stated that, “on day one, we’re going to repeal that tax cut for the top one percent and some of the biggest corporations in America,” currently in place.
Following the economy, Harris discussed healthcare policy. She asserted, “we need Medicare for all, not some, all. . .. I’m going to get rid of copays and deductibles, but I’m not going to raise middle class taxes, and I’m not going to take away your choice.” In particular, she stressed she would not do away with private insurance, but that she would regulate it differently.
Finally, Harris spoke of her plans for education reform. Concerning education funding, Harris outlined that she planned to direct money to a, “federal investment in ending the teacher pay gap, which nationally is $13,500 per year.” Relating to school funding and safety, Harris also delineated her plan for gun control with, “I will give the U.S. Congress 100 days to put legislation on my desk for signature, and if they do not . . . I will take executive action and put in place a universal background check program and ban the importation of assault weapons into our country.”
Following her speech, Harris took questions from the crowd on healthcare, statehood for Washington D.C., and affordable housing. Of particular interest, she proposed selling prescription drugs at the global average price and removing patents for drugs receiving federal research and development money that did not comply. Additionally, she made a commitment to invest $100 million in affordable housing through childcare programs, cost of living increases, and affordable building projects.