Sen. Kamala Harris is increasingly positioning herself for a what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary for the White House in 2020.
The former California attorney general, who is just at the beginning of her second year in the Senate, is taking positions that could endear herself with the Democratic base while allowing her to stand out from a group of Democrats who might seek the progressive mantle.
Harris voted against a Senate immigration bill backed by centrists from both parties earlier this month, waiting until the last minute to break with other liberals such as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who both backed the measure.
She argued that while the bill would provide a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants who entered the country illegally, she could not support it in good conscience because of the inclusion of money for President Trump’s proposed wall on the Mexican border.
“While this bill would put Dreamers on a pathway toward citizenship, the appropriation of $25 billion for a border wall is a waste of taxpayer money,” she said. “A wall will not secure our border and I remain concerned those billions of dollars may also be used to implement this Administration’s anti-immigrant agenda — one that targets California and its residents.”
Harris has also sought to highlight her positions on gun control while carving out an identity as a hard-core critic of the National Rifle Association.
On Thursday, she was quick to highlight an attack by the NRA’s chief at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
“I am not going to be silenced by attacks from the NRA or anyone else,” she wrote on Twitter, minutes after NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre labeled Harris and other Democrats “new European-style socialists bearing down upon us.”
Last week, after the nation began another discussion on gun control following the Feb. 14 shooting at a Florida high school,…