Kamala Harris' impressive, yet controversial success story

Harris makes history as she matches record for most tiebreaker votes in the Senate

Stars Insider

30/11/23 | StarsInsider

CELEBRITY Politics

Kamala Harris has already experienced many "firsts" in her career, and now she's hit another historical milestone. On July 12, she was called upon by the Senate to cast the tiebreaking vote after senators became gridlocked over yet another relatively minor matter. It's part of the Vice President's role to break a tied vote when it occurs in Senate, but most VP's are rarely called upon. Harris's predecessor, Mike Pence, cast 13 tiebreaker votes during his term. During Barack Obama's presidency, there were no tied votes in the Senate at all. Vice President Harris, however, has already cast 31 tiebreaker votes during her two-and-half years in office. The only other vice president in history to have cast this many votes was John C. Calhoun, who served from 1825 to 1832.

“It really says more about our time, and our political climate, than it does about anything else,” vice presidential historian Joel K. Goldstein commented. “Our politics is so polarized that, even on the sort of matters that in the past would have flown through, it takes the vice president to cast a tiebreaking vote.” With another year and a half in office, Harris will likely surpass his record by a significant margin. 

Kamala Harris made American history as the first female vice president, as well as the first Black woman and South Asian American to be elected to one of the two highest offices in the United States. Young Black and South Asian girls are right to look at Harris and feel empowered and excited for the future, but while representation is something to celebrate, the fact remains that Harris is still a human and far from perfect.

Click through the following gallery to see some of her most defining moments on her journey to smashing through glass ceiling after glass ceiling, as well as her biggest hurdles yet to come.

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