(RepublicanInformer.com)- Not all record-breaking performances are cause for celebration, and one that Vice President Kamala Harris is about to set fits that mold for Democrats.
Harris is on pace to set a record for the most tie votes broken for the U.S. Senate. As president of the senate, the vice president gets to cast the deciding vote if the upper chamber members deadlock on an issue.
With a severely divided Senate that seems to stick to party lines more often than other Senate’s of the past, Harris has been called on to break ties at a record pace. But, that’s not a record that Harris and other Democrats would like her to break.
As the deputy director of the liberal advocacy group Battle Born Collection, Tre’ Easton, commented for the Los Angeles Times recently:
“If this is what victory is, my goodness, guys, we need to want better for ourselves.”
The 50-50 deadlock between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate technically gives liberals the edge in the upper chamber. That’s because every tie vote results in Harris having the chance to break the tie.
Initially, Democrats thought this would be a great opportunity for them to pass through key initiatives of President Joe Biden’s progressive agenda. That includes expanded help for families, improving climate change and providing more early access for voting.
There hasn’t been much progress on any of that, though, as many of the key components of Biden’s agenda haven’t advanced at all, due to the complete lack of bipartisanship of the bills that are being brought before the Senate.
The tiebreaking votes that Harris has been forced to cast, then, have mostly centered around breaking gridlock over procedural things such as presidential nominations. This has slowed down the pace of progress in Congress, and has frustrated the White House to no end.
Since the Biden administration entered the White House in January of 2021, Harris has had to break 23 ties already. In the next few months, she has a decent chance to break the all-time record.
Harris is behind only John Adams and John Calhoun, who broke 29 and 31 tie votes, respectively. Both of those vice presidents served two different terms, though, and in a Senate that had less than half the total number of members than this Senate has.
The Senate rarely has an equal split of Democrats and Republicans on it — it happened last under President George W. Bush, and only for six months. But, it’s not just the political makeup of the Senate that has resulted in so many ties; it’s the fact that Democrats and Republicans aren’t very interested in crossing the aisle to work with each other on major issues.
The good news is that Harris may not be breaking tie votes in the Senate for much longer. It’s looking more and more like Republicans are going to regain control of the upper chamber following November’s midterm elections, meaning Harris’ voice won’t be need on many occasions.