Harris met by Bronx cheer, heckled while promoting infrastructure push in NY borough

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NEW YORK — Welcome to the Bronx.

A heckler interrupted Vice President Kamala Harris' speech Friday as she promoted the Biden administration’s Build Back Better agenda at a YMCA in the borough.

Harris was discussing the details of the expansive infrastructure plan before a room packed with New York elected officials and some local families when a man began shouting about families who died in recent flooding in the city.

The deaths “could have been prevented if we had the right infrastructure,” the man shouted before asking about working with China.

“You are right, brother,” Harris responded. “You know what, you and I will talk after I give my comments.

“And I’m happy to talk with you, But, right now, let’s talk about the agenda, that will include speaking to all people and allowing everybody to be heard,” she added as the man was escorted from the room.

Dozens of people, some drowning in basement apartments and cars, died across the tri-state area in September as a result of flooding from Hurricane Ida.

Harris traveled to the Northeast Bronx YMCA with Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and was accompanied by Labor Secretary Martin Walsh and another Cabinet officials.

The vice president marveled at the recently opened facility, which boasts multiple pools, fitness studios, youth and family programs and other amenities.

“It’s really beautiful,” she said of the site.

“I’ve worked with the Y for years, and I’m a member of the Y,” the California native added, telling staffers at the center that she “used to swim at the Y a long time ago.”

Outside of the building, about a dozen demonstrators hoped to give Harris a message, holding up a banner that read: “Immigrants are Essential!”

Harris was joined by a who’s who of New York’s political class. Gov. Kathy Hochul, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Lt. Gov Brian Benjamin, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Yonkers Democrat, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx Democrat, were all in attendance.

“How cool is this that she could have been anywhere in the country, anywhere in New York, and she’s right here in the Bronx?” Hochul said as she introduced Harris.

Hochul added that she was “so proud” to have the support of both Harris and President Joe Biden.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., spoke after Hochul and introduced Becerra. During his brief remarks, Bowman said physical infrastructure is just one part of the Biden agenda, adding that “we are going to deal with the climate crisis, and we are not going to leave people of color behind.”

Parts of the sprawling infrastructure plan are being met with resistance as some progressives in the House refuse to pass the bipartisan deal until the Senate also approves a massive $3.5 trillion reconciliation package focused on improving the country’s social safety net, fighting climate change, addressing immigration and other issues.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Democrats are closing in on a deal on the social and climate change heavy agenda by working out differences over health care and other issues following a White House meeting earlier Friday.

“The bottom line is that this is about what we value as a nation — about who we value,” Harris said. “The president and I value working families. The president and I both come from working families.”

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