Harris at 26 tie-breaking votes, most ever cast in a single term

Welcome to the Wednesday, August 17, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Harris at 26 tie-breaking votes, most ever cast in a single term
  2. We’ve got Aug. 16 election results!
  3. Campaign to increase vote threshold for new or increased taxes in California submits signatures for a place on the 2024 ballot

Harris at 26 tie-breaking votes, most ever cast in a single term

Vice President Kamala Harris (D) has cast the most tie-breaking votes in the Senate during a single vice presidential term in American history. Harris is followed by John Adams, who cast 20 tie-breaking votes during his first vice presidential term, and George M. Dallas, who cast 19 tie-breaking votes during his one term in office.

Harris cast three tie-breaking votes in the U.S. Senate related to the Inflation Reduction Act. On Aug. 6, she cast a vote to proceed with debate on the bill, and on Aug. 7 she cast votes to approve an amendment and to pass the bill.

During her tenure, Harris has also cast 20 tie-breaking votes related to confirmations and three related to the American Rescue Plan, bringing her total to 26.

Accounting for a vice president’s full tenure, Harris has cast the third most tie-breaking votes. John C. Calhoun cast the most (31), followed by John Adams (29).

Among vice presidents who have held office since 1981, Mike Pence (R) cast 13 tie-breaking votes, Dick Cheney (R) eight, and George H.W. Bush (R) seven.

Under Article I, Section 3, Clause 4 of the U.S. Constitution, the vice president also serves as the president of the Senate. In this capacity, the Senate President casts the deciding vote when there is a tie in the Senate. 

Keep reading

We’ve got Aug. 16 election results!

Yesterday, voters in Alaska and Wyoming headed to the polls for statewide primaries. Our team worked into the night to collect results and track the highest-profile battlegrounds as calls became available. We’ll have more on the results and their implications for November in tomorrow’s Brew.

In the meantime, our Aug. 16 elections hub has the latest results and links to further coverage. You can also subscribe to The Heart of the Primaries, our weekly dive into key congressional, legislative, and executive races. The next edition comes out Thursday! 

Click the links below to jump directly to our coverage of last night’s battlegrounds:



Keep reading 

Campaign to increase vote threshold for new or increased taxes in California submits signatures for a place on the 2024 ballot

Californians for Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability submitted more than 1.1 million signatures for a ballot initiative to increase the vote requirement for new taxes and define levies, charges, and fees as taxes in the California Constitution that would appear on the 2024 ballot.

Currently, state tax increases require a two-thirds vote in favor in each chamber or a simple majority vote in a statewide election. Taxes can be reduced with a simple majority legislative vote. 

Under the amendment, proposals to increase tax rates or introduce new taxes would require approval from both a two-thirds legislative vote in each chamber and by a simple majority of voters. The amendment would also increase the vote requirement for local taxes that local governments or citizens propose to a two-thirds majority of local voters.

The amendment would require a bill proposing or increasing a tax to include the duration of the tax, an estimate of the annual revenue from the tax, a statement regarding the use of the revenue for specific or general purposes, and the ballot title and summary for the tax measure question. The initiative would authorize exempt charges not to be included in the definition of a tax. It would place the burden of proof on the state to present clear and convincing evidence that a charge is an exempt charge and not a tax.

To learn more about how the initiative would define an exempt charge, click here.

The committee behind the initiative initially aimed for the 2022 ballot but missed the June 30 signature submission deadline. The committee has raised more than $15.2 million. The top donors to the committee include California Business Roundtable Issues PAC ($5.5 million), AMR Holdco Inc. ($3.1 million), Douglas Emmett Properties ($1.5 million), Kilroy Realty LP ($1.5 million), and Michael K. Hayde ($1.4 million).

Groups that oppose the initiative include AFSCME California, California Contract Cities Association, California Professional Firefighters, California State Council of Laborers, SEIU California State Council, and League of California Cities.

Three initiatives have qualified for the 2024 ballot. They relate to establishing an institute on pandemic prevention research, increasing the state’s minimum wage, and changing the process for remedying labor violations.

Keep reading