Kamala Harris assumes critical role – now and later: The Note

The TAKE with Rick Klein

But that could be changing — in ways that will matter when she is sworn in, and quite possibly before then.

Harris will be a Black vice president in an administration facing criticism for a relative lack of diversity. She will be a key figure in convincing communities of color to trust the COVID-19 vaccine.

Perhaps most relevantly, for the moment, she remains a sitting U.S. senator as lawmakers close in on a pre-Christmas relief bill. That leaves Harris positioned to have a hand in some Biden-style deal-making even before she is sworn in as vice president.

“I applaud Mitch McConnell for talking to Joe Biden today,” Harris told ABC’s Robin Roberts Tuesday in an interview that will air on “Good Morning America” Wednesday. “It would have been better if it were earlier, but it happened, and that’s what’s most important. So let’s move forward.”

Many Democrats might laugh at the idea that McConnell or any Republican deserves credit for acknowledging a reality that’s been apparent for weeks, and simply stating that Biden is president-elect.

But Biden and Harris aren’t laughing through a serious moment that requires buy-in from both parties.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

It’s been 266 days since Congress passed the CARES Act, the initial and only major stimulus and relief bill targeting families and individuals during this pandemic.

Though they renewed some protections for businesses since then, more help from Congress during this tough time has been long in the making.

Congressional leaders seemed determined to make something happen Tuesday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said no one was going home for the holidays until the work got done.

The list of services set to expire is long — making this moment all the more urgent.

The TIP with Benjamin Siegel

“I haven’t seen anything that would convince me that the results — the overall national result — would be overturned,” Johnson told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Tuesday, acknowledging Joe Biden’s victory.

Johnson was one of many Senate Republicans who cautiously recognized Biden’s status as the president-elect this week as the Electoral College vote formally delivered him the presidency, even as President Donald Trump continues to dispute the results.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who congratulated Biden on his victory Tuesday for the first time, privately warned Republicans to avoid the long-shot effort from some House Republicans to force a debate and vote on the election results in January — telling senators the futile effort would be a “terrible vote.”


ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast. Wednesday morning’s episode features ABC News Chief National correspondent Matt Gutman, who tells us the challenges hospitals are facing with surging cases as vaccinations begin. ABC News’ Zohreen Shah examines the future of large gatherings as more people get the shot. And ABC News’ Trish Turner tells us what we need to know about possible COVID-19 relief in Congress. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

ABC News’ “Powerhouse Politics” podcast. White House coronavirus coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx will join ABC News Political Director Rick Klein and Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl to discuss the latest on the pandemic and COVID-19 vaccines. https://bit.ly/2CGGdCY


  • Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will speak to Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” at 7 a.m.
  • President Donald Trump holds a Cabinet meeting at 11:30 a.m.
  • The Senate Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on alleged irregularities in the 2020 election at 10 a.m.
  • President-elect Joe Biden and Harris will make a transition announcement in Wilmington, Delaware, at 11:45 a.m. Later, they will separately receive the President’s Daily Brief. Afterward, the president-elect and vice president-elect will meet virtually with American governors.
  • Download the ABC News app and select “The Note” as an item of interest to receive the day’s sharpest political analysis.

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.



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