KAMALA HARRIS, votes, tiebreaker, vice president

VP Kamala Harris Makes History With 33 Tiebreaker Votes, Receives Golden Gavel

Vice President Kamala Harris broke an almost 200-year record.

The Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, broke the record for casting the most tiebreaker votes in the Senate with 33 votes.

The first woman and first person of color, the VP received a golden gavel from New York Democrat and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for the accomplishment on Dec. 5, according to The Associated Press. The news outlet reported that her record-breaking 33rd vote went in favor of a new federal judge in Washington, D.C..

That same day, Harris supported the nomination of Loren AliKhan to U.S. District Court judge. The result: AliKhan was confirmed after a few hours, according to The Associated Press. Schumer said Harris is responsible for more people of color and women being confirmed.

Vice President Harris’ response to receiving the gavel was that she was “truly honored” for breaking the record that Schumer referred to as a “great milestone.”

A difference in time between Harris and the previous record holder, former Vice President John C. Calhoun, spans 191 years–meaning Harris broke an almost 200-year record. The Associated Press reported that Calhoun cast 31 tiebreakers during his eight-year term from 1825 to 1832.

The news outlet also reported that Harris achieved her record in much less time than Calhoun – less than half the time it took for Calhoun. The division between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate likely means that Harris will continue to add votes to her record-breaking 33 tiebreakers already made.

The Associated Press noted a record of the number of tiebreakers that former U.S. Vice Presidents made before Harris assumed office in January 2021. According to the graph, former Vice President Calhoun beat out John Adams, who had 29 tiebreakers during his eight-year term from 1789 to 1797.

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