COLUMBIA (USA) Feb. 27 (AP) Vice President Kamala Harris touts the Biden administration’s achievements in broadband internet access during a visit to South Carolina, the state recently elected Democrat in 2024. where the first ballots were cast in the 2018 election campaign.
In Monday’s visit, Harris’ fourth trip to an early voting state since becoming vice president, Harris touted more than $175 million to help improve high-speed internet infrastructure at historically black colleges and institutions, which she called “Academic Center of Excellence”. ”
“Many of the people we’re concerned about right now don’t have reliable access to high-speed internet on campus,” said Harris, herself an HBCU graduate. “This means more students will be able to use the internet for their daily needs.”
Harris spoke to a room of at least 100 supporters and student leaders from Columbia HBCU’s Benedictine College as Democrats’ national attention was honed in South Carolina, where a landslide victory in the 2020 primary gave Joe Joe Biden’s momentum to win Super Tuesday won the race and knocked out several opponents.
Biden has repeatedly acknowledged the state’s pivotal role in his nomination and the importance of the state’s black Democratic voters. At a fundraiser last year, Harris thanked South Carolina Democrats who “put President Joe Biden and I on the path to the White House.”
Late last year, Biden asked the Democratic National Committee to move the state to the top of the presidential primary voting calendar, and party officials did so this month. Through its email list, the South Carolina Democratic Party has begun selling buttons, mugs and apparel with the slogan “South Carolina Democrats pick the winner” to show off the state’s new status.
But Harris’ appearance comes amid debate over whether Biden, who at 80 is the oldest U.S. president, should seek re-election, as is widely expected. Only 37 percent of Democrats said they wanted Biden to seek re-election, according to a poll released this month by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Although he has long said he intends to seek re-election, Biden has yet to make a formal announcement, trying to dispel questions about whether he is too old to continue as president. In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press last week, first lady Jill Biden gave one of the clearest indications yet that her husband will run in 2024, saying that besides determining when and where Besides, there is “almost” no other way. announcement.
A field of Republican candidates has formed, with a focus on South Carolina, the site of the South’s first Republican presidential primary. Former Gov. Nikki Haley announced her candidacy in Charleston a few weeks after former President Donald Trump held a campaign event at the state capitol last month. Senator Tim Scott is also considering a potential bid.
Equal access to high-speed internet has been a top priority for Biden, who signed a $1 trillion infrastructure package in 2021 that includes $65 billion for broadband, in addition to traditional public works projects like building roads and bridges expand.
Expanding the availability of broadband internet is also a top priority for Rep. Jim Claiborne, one of the White House’s biggest supporters on Capitol Hill and South Carolina’s only congressional Democrat. Clyburn, the assistant Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, has long advocated for broader internet access across the country, pushing for affordable high-speed internet in rural communities.
Last week, Claiborne appeared alongside Republican Gov. Henry McMaster to announce the creation of an initiative funded by a bipartisan infrastructure package to identify areas of South Carolina most in need and invest in broadband infrastructure facility. (Associated Press)
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