2020 contender Kamala Harris on the US economy

California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris – a progressive Democrat who has sponsored a number of bills targeting the economy – announced on Monday she will join the race for the presidency in 2020.

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Harris served as the attorney general in California until 2017, when she joined Congress.

On Capitol Hill, Harris serves on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on the Budget.

Here’s a look at some of the legislation she has sponsored and supported, as well as her comments on the U.S. economy:

The Trump economy

During a number of speeches toward the end of last year, Harris addressed the U.S. economy, explaining that strong government data doesn’t necessarily paint an accurate picture of most Americans’ realities.

Just because statistics like the unemployment rate are hovering near multi-decade lows, doesn’t mean many lower- and middle-class American households aren’t still struggling to make ends meet, she suggested.

“The so-called leaders are walking around saying the economy is doing great, the economy is doing great. But you got to ask, great for who? …'You can look at the unemployment rate, you can look at the unemployment numbers.' Yeah, so okay, people are working. They are working two or three jobs to pay bills,” she said in October.

Taxes, tax credits

Last year, Harris unveiled a tax plan to partially replace President Trump’s tax law with legislation that would give qualifying middle- and lower-income households free cash.

The bill – called the LIFT Act – aimed to raise the incomes of working families through a refundable tax credit that would match up to $3,000 of earnings for single people and $6,000 for married couples.

The credit would be available for all households earning under $100,000 per year and single filers earning under $50,000 annually. It is one of the closest bills to universal basic income that a 2020 contender has proposed.

Minimum wage

Like many others in her party, Harris has advocated for raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour as a means to combat income inequality. Democrats introduced a bill in the House of Representatives to do so last week, though its chances of passing the Republican-controlled Senate are slim.

Beyond simply raising the minimum wage, Harris has advocated tying it to inflation to “make it a true living wage.”

The former prosecutor also supports guaranteed paid sick and family leave, as well as the Paychecks Fairness Act – which would combat the gender pay gap.

Wall Street

Harris was one of the lawmakers opposed to easing regulations imposed on Wall Street in the wake of the financial crisis, known as Dodd-Frank.

She opposed loosening regulations on the nation’s large financial institutions, calling legislation to do so “short-sighted and irresponsible.”


One of Harris’ other proposals, introduced in July, targeted housing affordability. Called the Rent Relief Act, a refundable tax credit would be available to anyone who spends more than 30 percent of their income on rent.

While serving as attorney general, Harris negotiated a $25 billion settlement on behalf of California homeowners hit by the foreclosure crisis.



In a Facebook post penned in September 2017, Harris addressed the reality that some workers will be displaced by automation as the needs of the labor force change.

She advocated funding for workforce training programs to equip workers with the skills to succeed in the workforce of tomorrow.