Biden taps Kamala Harris as running mate: Where she stands on economic issues

Harris was also a serious contender for the Oval Office before dropping out at the beginning of December

Joe Biden tapped California Sen. Kamala Harris to be his vice president on Tuesday after months of speculation about who the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate would choose to be his running mate against President Trump.

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Harris, 55, makes history as the first Black woman to appear on a major party's presidential ticket.

"You make a lot of important decisions as president. But the first one is who you select to be your Vice President. I’ve decided that Kamala Harris is the best person to help me take this fight to Donald Trump and Mike Pence and then to lead this nation starting in January 2021," Biden wrote in an email from his campaign to supporters.

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Biden's selection of Harris as his running mate suggests that he's moved past their skirmish during the first Democratic debate, when she confronted him about his history with segregation, including his opposition to busing and his work with lawmakers who were staunch opponents of desegregation. The exchange went viral, highlighting weaknesses in Biden's campaign and catapulting her in the polls.

“She is a first-rate intellect. First-rate candidate," Biden said when Harris dropped out of the primary in December. "It’s a real competitor. I have mixed emotions about it because she is really a solid, solid person. And loaded with talent. But I’m sure she’s not dropping out on wanting to make the changes she cares about."

In the months after she left the race, however, Harris has become a reliable surrogate for Biden, appearing with him during online fundraisers and holding roundtable discussions around issues like racial disparity during the coronavirus pandemic.

Here's everything you need to know about Harris and where she stands on the economic issues:

Taxes: Like Biden, Harris has called for a full repeal of President Trump's biggest legislative accomplishment, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

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She also called for the introduction of new taxes to fund her health care initiative. That would include taxes on financial trading. Her plan would impose a levy on stock trades at 0.2%, bond trades at 0.1% and derivative transactions as 0.002%. She claimed it would raise “well over $2 trillion” within 10 years.

Harris, to the skepticism of some, has said that taxes would not rise for families making under $100,000. Critics also have argued that it’s difficult to tax financial transactions without jeopardizing retirement goals for a number of Americans.

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In 2018, Harris introduced the LIFT the Middle Class Act, which would provide a refundable tax credit of up to $3,000 in earned income. The credit would begin to phase out for individuals earning more than $50,000.

Health care: Harris took a middle-of-the-road path on health care. Last July, she introduced a plan to achieve universal health care coverage by expanding Medicare with the help of private insurers.

“Medicare works,” Harris wrote in a Medium essay. “Now, let’s expand it to all Americans and give everyone access to comprehensive health care.”

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Minimum wage: Harris supports making a $15 minimum wage the national floor. She's said she wants to impose "stricter penalties" on companies that cheat their workers.

Student loans: While running her presidential campaign, Harris touted a student-debt forgiveness plan, part of a broader proposal to invest in Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Black entrepreneurs.

Under Harris's plan, which was widely panned on Twitter when she introduced it, borrowers who received a Pell Grant -- could have up to $20,000 of their student loans forgiven if they start a business and operate it for at least three years in a disadvantaged community.

But during the coronavirus pandemic, Harris has endorsed Biden's proposal to forgive $10,000 of federal student loans.

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