Local 10 Exclusive: VP Kamala Harris speaks about healthcare, abortion, climate change

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Vice President Kamala Harris was in South Florida Wednesday to talk about combating climate change.

During her visit, she spoke exclusively with Local 10 News’ Ben Kennedy.

“It’s about doing what we need around climate, adaptation and resilience,” said Harris.

Her visit comes during a critical time for the administration as President Joe Biden prepares to unveil his federal budget proposal on Thursday.

“What impact would this plan have for right here in South Florida?” asked Kennedy.

“In South Florida, for example, we know we have a lot of seniors who from the first days they started working years ago have been putting money into Medicare,” said Harris. “We will announce as part of the budget, we will extend Medicare by 25 years.”

Harris said the budget will focus on lowering costs for families and protecting Social Security while reducing the deficit.

The plan could face pushback on Capitol Hill with a Republican majority in the House of Representatives.

“I believe we can get bipartisan support,” Harris said. “Just look at our track record -- for example, the work we did on the infrastructure law.”

Her remarks come on the heels of the first day of Florida’s legislative session. It’s there that senators want to revise the state’s controversial abortion bill.

“The bill would ban abortions after six weeks. Your reaction?” asked Kennedy.

“I think that it is absolutely a portent that politicians would be telling women what they should do with their own bodies,” Harris said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis supports the new legislation and said he would sign it into law.

He’s a potential contender for the White House come 2024, and as the field is starting to take shape, the nation waits for Biden to make a final call on whether he plans to run for re-election.

“Have you spoken to the president about this and how close is he to making a decision?” asked Kennedy.

“You will know when he makes it, but I will tell you in all seriousness, the president has said he intends to run,” Harris said. “If he runs, I will be running with him.”

About the Author:

Ben Kennedy is an Emmy Award-winning Washington Bureau Chief for Local 10 News.