Wednesday 6 December 2023

VP Harris Sets New Record With Tie-Breaking Vote

 Vice President Kamala Harris broke a longstanding record in the Senate on Tuesday.

With a vote to bust a 50-50 standoff and advance the nomination of Loren AliKhan to be a U.S. district judge, Harris surpassed the 191-year-old record of 31 tie-breaking votes set by John C. Calhoun, who served as vice president from 1825 to 1832 under Presidents John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined with Republicans in voting against invoking cloture.

“Today is historic,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) after the vote. “Vice President Harris has just cast her 32nd tie-breaking vote, the most tiebreakers ever. I join all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle thanking the vice president for her leadership and for making the work of the Senate possible.”

Schumer went on to credit Harris for helping Senate Democrats pass key pieces of legislation, including the American Rescue Plan and Inflation Reduction Act, as well as assisting them in confirming President Joe Biden’s nominations for federal judgeships.

The majority leader also thanked Harris for casting tie-breaking votes “all this while juggling the immense responsibilities of her office” and made the case for how the vice president’s “great milestone” is just part of a “greater legacy.”


Harris, a former California attorney general and U.S. senator, has served as vice president for nearly three years. She is seeking another term in the White House as part of Biden’s 2024 re-election ticket despite both having approval numbers hovering in the 30s. By comparison, Congress has an approval rating that has sunk below 20%, according to FiveThirtyEight’s poll tracker.

Harris received a golden gavel as a reward for casting her record-breaking vote. Schumer presented the trinket to her after taking it out of a box in front of reporters. Harris smiled and embraced Schumer, saying she was “truly honored.”

Doug Andres, press secretary for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), responded to video of the celebration, saying on X, “this is painful to watch but i cant look away.” He also quipped, “feels like a gift Schumer found in his desk this morning.”

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