The Illinois Democratic Party voted Wednesday to endorse Illinois U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth for vice president.
Joe Biden has not made his running mate pick public yet, but Duckworth is widely reported to be on the short list.
The former vice president has promised to select a woman for the job, and supporters say Duckworth’s credentials as a veteran and war hero, and, more recently, her roles in the U.S. House and Senate, make her a strong choice.
“I’ve had conversations with the Biden campaign, and what I told them is whatever he decides he wants me to do to help elect him president of the United States, I will do,” Duckworth told “Chicago Tonight” on Wednesday.
Duckworth is reportedly being considered alongside several Black female politicians, who many say should be given preference in light of the current movement for racial justice and equity.
“I think it’s historic he’s going to choose a woman, first off, and I’m so thrilled to be mentioned in the same vein as so many of these other wonderful women, especially women of color,” Duckworth said. “But again, Joe Biden is going to choose whoever he thinks is the best person to serve this country, and I will play whatever role he wants me to play.”
Duckworth is also advocating for an extension of unemployment relief through the CARES Act, which allows people who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic to receive an additional $600 a week from the federal government.
Several Republicans have said the relief should end when it expires at the end of July.
“Imagine you are a single working parent, and you have to go back to work but school is not in session. What happens? How do we have these essential workers go back to work and not provide for child care?” Duckworth said. “Let me tell you that those 600 additional (dollars) are not being wasted. They are being spent on things like food and mortgage and rent and child care.”
And over the past few weeks, the Trump administration has publicly pressured states around the country to reopen schools in the fall. But Duckworth says she’s thinking twice before sending her 5-year-old daughter back to the classroom.
“We have to keep our educators and our children safe. This administration has not provided any guidelines to schools, they’ve failed in keeping our citizens safe,” Duckworth said. “I want to make sure, first and foremost … whether or not I’m sending my daughter into a system she’s going to be exposed to COVID-19, or whether she’ll be safe.”