Harris makes history with record-setting tie-breaking Senate vote

Vice President Kamala Harris made history Tuesday by casting her 32nd tie-breaking vote, setting a new record for number of votes cast by a vice president.

“Today is historic. Vice President Harris has just cast her 32nd tie-breaking vote, the most tie-breakers 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,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“Without her tie-breaking votes there would be no American Rescue Plan, no Inflation Reduction Act, and we would not have confirmed many of the excellent judges now presiding on the bench. Every time duty is called, Vice President Harris has answered, more than any other Vice President in our nation’s long and stories history,” he added.

The vote on Tuesday was to break the tie on a judicial nomination.

Harris had, before coming into office, expressed optimism that her tie-breaking authority wouldn’t be used.

“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,” she wrote before taking office. “At the same time, it is my hope that rather than come to the point of a tie, the Senate will instead find common ground and do the work of the American people.”

Schumer had a brief ceremony in the Senate Reception Room to present Harris with the “Golden Gavel.”

According to the Senate Historical office, the “Golden Gavel” has been bestowed for a variety of reasons – Majority Leader Mike Mansfield presented a gavel to senators for presiding over the chamber for more than 100 hours during any session, and Majority Leader Trent Lott presented one to Chief Justice William Rehnquist following the end of the Clinton impeachment trial in 1999.

Chief Justice John Robert also received a Golden Gavel following the conclusion of the Trump impeachment trial in 2020.

The Golden Gavel is made of brass.

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