Kamala Harris breaks record for most tiebreaking Senate votes by VP
Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday broke the record for the most tie-breaking Senate votes cast by a vice president.
Driving the news: The 32nd vote was to advance the nomination of Loren L. AliKhan for the district court of the District of Columbia.
- A confirmation vote is expected later Tuesday.
- If confirmed, AliKhan will be the first South Asian woman to serve on the D.C. district court.
What they're saying: Following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) presented Harris with a golden gavel to commemorate the record.
- "Today is historic," Schumer said. "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 added that without her tie-breaking votes, the Inflation Reduction Act and the American Rescue Plan would not have passed.
Context: The Senate was evenly split between parties when President Biden took office in 2021, giving the VP a pivotal role in breaking ties as president of the Senate. (Harris also was previously a U.S. senator from California.)
- Democrats retained narrow control of the upper chamber during the midterm elections and gained an additional seat with John Fetterman's win in Pennsylvania.
- Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona soon after left the party to become an independent — a gut punch for Democrats just three days after they secured a 51-49 majority.
Go deeper: Harris allies hit back at Democratic critics