VP Harris Breaks Record for Casting Tie-Breaking Senate Votes

VP Harris Breaks Record for Casting Tie-Breaking Senate Votes
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during National Small Business Week in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington on May 1, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Jackson Richman

Vice President Kamala Harris made history on Dec. 5 for casting the most tie-breaking votes in the Senate.

Ms. Harris cast her 32nd tie-breaking vote after the Senate was deadlocked, 50-50, to advance the U.S. district judge nomination of Loren AliKhan—surpassing the record set by John C. Calhoun, who served as vice president for John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson from 1825 to 1832.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) joined all Republicans in voting against advancing Ms. AliKhan’s nomination to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called the moment “historic” and presented Ms. Harris with a golden gavel.

He expressed appreciation for the vice president’s leadership in getting through COVID relief, the Inflation Reduction Act, and judicial confirmations.

“Every time duty has called, Vice President Harris has answered more than any other vice president in our nation’s long and storied history,” he said.

Ms. Harris tied the record in July when she cast the tie-breaking vote to advance the nomination of employment lawyer Kalpana Kotagal to serve on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was the lone Democrat who voted against the nomination, and therefore, with the vote tally at 50-50, Ms. Harris was needed to break the tie in the Senate, which the Democrats control, 51-49.

“I feel like it’s a wonderful historical moment, and I’m thankful to Leader Schumer for reminding me that today was that day,” Ms. Harris told The Epoch Times shortly after the vote.

Ms. Kotagal was later confirmed.

In July, senators on both sides of the aisle spoke with The Epoch Times about the pending historical moment.

“I always try to find better ways to create bipartisanship, but Congress [is] pretty divided, and the country’s pretty divided, so she’s being called upon to ... I mean, elections gave her that authority, and she’s being called in to use it,” said Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.).

“Somebody’s got to have the record,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), who lamented the Senate division.

Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said that Ms. Harris being on the verge of breaking the record “doesn’t surprise me,” blasting Democrats for “pushing the envelope” on nominees that have not attracted bipartisan support.

“I don’t know what she gets, but she’s earned it,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who echoed Mr. Hickenlooper about the Senate being divided.

Prior to becoming vice president, Ms. Harris served in the Senate between 2017 and 2021, representing California. She previously was California’s attorney general.

Jackson Richman is a Washington correspondent for The Epoch Times. In addition to Washington politics, he covers the intersection of politics and sports/sports and culture. He previously was a writer at Mediaite and Washington correspondent at Jewish News Syndicate. His writing has also appeared in The Washington Examiner. He is an alum of George Washington University.