Kamala Harris, the Vice President of the United States, achieved a historic milestone on Wednesday by equaling the all-time record of 31 tie-breaking votes cast by a vice president in the Senate.
The vote today was instrumental in confirming the nomination of attorney Kalpana Kotagal as a member of the country’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
In the United States, the role of the vice president carries limited formal obligations, which include assuming the presidency in the event of the president’s death or resignation and presiding over the Senate, granting the authority to cast tie-breaking votes in the chamber comprising 100 seats. This prerogative held significant importance during the previous legislature when the Senate was evenly divided with 50 seats for each party, Democrats and Republicans.
Harris’s vote proved pivotal in passing key initiatives of the Joe Biden administration, such as the Inflation Reduction Act and the American Rescue Plan, during the previous session, as highlighted by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer from the floor today. Kamala Harris Achieves Historic Vice Presidential Senate Deadlock Record
“She has carried out her duties with supreme excellence,” praised Schumer, celebrating the record.
Schumer also acknowledged the Senate’s crucial role in confirming federal judges, an area where Harris’s vote has been decisive.
In the current legislature, progressives hold a slim advantage of one senator, although technically they have fewer seats than Republicans, as three of their members are independent.
Harris has matched the deadlock record just over halfway through Biden’s four-year administration, making it likely that she will establish a new milestone.