President Biden’s side for two of the largest set-piece events of his administration thus far, Harris was thousands of miles away because the vice president and his spouse Doug Emhoff were on vacation in Hawaii for more than a week.
On August 15, the day before Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, Harris and Emhoff flew into Hawaii. The package, a scaled-back version of the president’s original Build Back Better proposal, spends $437 billion on healthcare and environmental initiatives. It is partially financed by increased tax collection efforts by an IRS with more resources.
Key legislative Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, and centrist Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia surrounded the president at the signing ceremony, but not Harris, who was seen that day visiting a farmers market.
On Wednesday, Biden declared that his government will eliminate billions of dollars’ worth of federal student loan debt, possibly restoring 20 million Americans’ financial standing. During the president’s speech, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona was by his side, but Harris was not.
Following a peaceful weekend at the couple’s Brentwood, California, home, the vice president traveled to Hawaii. Her final public appearance occurred on August 12 in Oakland, when she discussed the future of the US space program.
Since then, Harris hasn’t had anything scheduled on her calendar.
When asked when the vice president and second gentleman will be arriving back in Washington, DC, the vice president’s office and a White House official did not immediately comment.
With the exception of a few social media posts showing the vice president enjoying the beach, it seems that the vice president’s absence went mostly unreported.
On Monday, TMZ released a picture of Harris hiking at Kauai’s Haena State Park, looking like she was having the time of her life.
In the past, there have been persistent allegations about Harris and Biden’s relationship, including one that she was being sidelined due to escalating tensions with the president.