DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Vice President Kamala Harris visited Durham Wednesday to talk to the community about investments in workers, as she acknowledged the rising rate of inflation has people “feeling like they are falling behind.”
Her trip to Durham came hours after President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address where he said addressing inflation is his “top priority.”
“So many people in our country over these last couple of years, they’re tired. They’re frustrated and afraid,” said Vice President Harris. “But, as I travel our nation, I will tell you what I see most clearly is neither the fear nor the fatigue but resilience.”
Harris came to Durham Technical Community College to tour the IBEW Local 553 apprentice training program. U.S. Labor Sec. Marty Walsh joined her along with Gov. Roy Cooper (D), and Democratic U.S. Reps. David Price and G.K. Butterfield.
Harris said the administration is taking steps to try to address the inflation rate, which reached a 40-year high in January. Among them, she said the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is helping to reduce bottlenecks in the supply chain.
“We are also working hard to manufacture more goods like cars, like computer chips, made by workers here in America,” she said.
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As part of the administration’s plan to address inflation, President Biden also said Tuesday he wants to make childcare more affordable.
State Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley said, “What we’re seeing from the administration at this point is that they want to continue doubling down on the federal spending levels that have actually driven all of this inflation. If they really, truly want to help American workers, what they’ll do is they will stop the overspending and get the economy back on track. And, that will help everybody.”
Harris also discussed efforts by the administration to make it easier for workers to unionize, saying North Carolina is among states that has “work to do.” The state has blocked public sector workers from bargaining collectively for decades.
“There are still powerful forces that are hard at work trying to build barriers to stop workers from organizing,” said Harris.
Before leaving Washington for Durham, Harris reiterated to CBS News that the Biden Administration will not send troops into Ukraine.
“I will tell you the president is clear, we are clear, we are not going to put U.S. troops in Ukraine to fight the Russians not on the ground and not in the air,” Harris said.
The U.S. will continue to provide aid to Ukraine and work with allies to defend NATO territory, according to the vice president.