Vice President Kamala Harris last Tuesday set a new record for casting the most tie-breaking votes in the Senate when she cast two votes to confirm one of President Biden’s judicial nominees, the Associated Press reported.
The previous record for tie-breaking votes was held by Vice President John Calhoun, who in his eight years in office from 1825 to 1832 cast 31 tie-breakers in the Senate. Harris tied Calhoun’s record in July after only two-and-a-half years as vice president.
When the Vice President cast her 32nd tie-breaking vote to advance Loren Ali Khan’s nomination to the US District Court, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer described it as a “great milestone.”
Harris was back on Capitol Hill later that day to cast her 33rd tie-breaking vote to formally confirm Ali Khan to the federal bench.
To honor the occasion, Majority Leader Schumer presented the vice president with a golden gavel. Harris said afterward that she was “truly honored.”
In the first two years of the Biden presidency, the Senate was evenly divided 50-50, making it difficult for Senate Democrats to advance the president’s nominees and agenda without his vice president on hand to cast the deciding vote.
Since January, the pace of Harris’ tie-breakers dropped since the Democrats now hold a clear 51-seat majority. However, even with a statistical majority, Senate Democrats have continued to rely on Harris to cast a deciding tie-breaking vote.
It was only due to the vice president that the Senate was able to pass the $1.9 trillion COVID spending bill The American Rescue Act that sent inflation skyrocketing. Likewise, the $1.2 trillion Inflation Reduction Act would not have passed the Senate without Harris there to cast the deciding vote.
However, most of the vice president’s tie-breaking votes have been cast to confirm President Biden’s judicial nominees.
In celebrating Harris’ record-breaking efforts, Schumer boasted that the vice president helped the Senate to confirm more people of color and more women to the federal bench.