Vice President Kamala Harris is still between homes
Kamala Harris's move to One Observatory Circle is still delayed, raising questions and frustrations about the renovations responsible for the setback
After more than two months in office, Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff have still not moved into the private, vice presidential residence, as it is still undergoing renovations, per a report by CNN.
Administration officials who spoke to CNN admit they are unsure about why the second couple’s move is being prolonged, but one thing’s for sure — the vice president is frustrated.
Harris and Emhoff, a Georgetown Law professor, are temporarily residing at Blair House, the President’s official guest quarters, located just across the street from the White House on Pennsylvania Ave. Blair House also housed President Joe Biden before his inauguration, per CNN.
CNN has done some digging into previous government contracts awarded to companies to address issues at the vice presidential residence, located at the Naval Observatory. Some of the contracts involved extensive foundational work, a $164,000 tank system replacement, and regular upkeep and repairs to the well-over-a-century-old property.
However, not even the $3.8 million contract for “plumbing, heating and air-conditioning contractors” from the United States government spending website explains why the Vice President and Emhoff are not currently living at the residence. According to CNN, the delay is leading to “growing questions — and agitation — about the pace of the work.”
According to Elizabeth Haenle, former vice president residence manager and social secretary for former Vice President Dick Cheney, allowing the Navel Observatory staff a few weeks to refresh between residents is a normal property practice.
She said to CNN, “From time to time, the Navy will ask the vice president and their respective families to delay moving in so that they have time for maintenance and upgrades that are not easy to perform once the vice president takes up residence.”
Despite the luxurious accommodations for which Blair House is well-known, practically being a showroom of historical American artifacts and museum-grade antiques, Harris and Emhoff look forward to enjoying the pleasures of an off-campus home, farther away from the office.
Haenle said, “For the vice president and his or her family, the Vice President’s Residence — or VPR — is calm in the midst of a stormy Washington, both politically and logistically. At the end of the day, the vice president can travel a short distance northwest and find respite in a country-like setting.”
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