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Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Photo: Mason Trinca/Getty Images

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris submitted her resignation from her seat in the U.S. Senate on Monday, two days before she will be sworn into her new role.

What's next: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has selected California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to serve out the rest of Harris' term, which ends in 2022.

What they're saying: "As I resign from the Senate, I am preparing to take an oath that would have me preside over it," Harris wrote in a farewell post.

  • "As senator-turned-Vice-President Walter Mondale once pointed out, the vice presidency is the only office in our government that 'belongs to both the executive branch and the legislative branch.' A responsibility made greater with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans in the Senate," she continued.
  • "Since our nation's founding, only 268 tie-breaking votes have been cast by a Vice President. I intend to work tirelessly as your Vice President, including, if necessary, fulfilling this Constitutional duty."

The big picture: Harris will now make history as the first Black, first South Asian and first female vice president when she is inaugurated on Jan. 20. But her exit from the Senate leaves just two Black lawmakers in the chamber, until the newly elected Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) takes office.

  • Harris is one of ten Black lawmakers to have ever served in the Senate, and the second Black woman in the chamber's history.
  • Harris will have the power to cast tie-breaking Senate votes upon taking office, writes Axios' Stef Kight. The responsibility has the potential to define her as vice president — and as a possible 2024 presidential contender.

Go deeper: Tie-breaking vote a political challenge for Harris

Go deeper

Senate Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In a closely divided Congress, the Senate’s Mischief Makers could thwart their leaders' best-laid plans with their own agendas.

Why it matters: On Wednesday night, we shared a list of House members who our leadership sources on the Hill consider some of the top troublemakers. But their Senate counterparts may be even more impactful in a 50-50 chamber, where Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tiebreaking vote.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Here come Earmarks 2.0

DeLauro at a hearing in May 2020. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to restore a limited version of earmarks, which give lawmakers power to direct spending to their districts to pay for special projects.

Why it matters: A series of scandals involving members in both parties prompted a moratorium on earmarks in 2011. But Democrats argue it's worth the risk to bring them back because earmarks would increase their leverage to pass critical legislation with a narrow majority, especially infrastructure and spending bills.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

UN says Paris carbon-cutting plans fall far short

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Nations' formal emissions-cutting pledges are collectively way too weak to put the world on track to meet the Paris climate deal's temperature-limiting target, a United Nations tally shows.

Driving the news: This morning the UN released an analysis of the most recent nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — that is, countries' medium-term emissions targets submitted under the 2015 pact.