Vice President Kamala Harris stepped in to cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate on Wednesday to advance President Joe Biden’s nominee for undersecretary of defense for policy.
The vote was the fourth senate tie breaker for the vice president in the evenly-split Senate. The occasion marked the first time Harris has served as the the tie-breaking vote for a nominee.
Nominee Colin Kahl recently faced scrutiny by Republican senators who asked FBI Directory Christopher Wray to investigate whether he had disclosed classified information on social media.
Kahl served as national security adviser during the Obama administration. He has disputed the accusations of sharing classified information.
“I have never publicly shared information I knew to be classified and take my obligations to protect classified information seriously,” Kahl wrote to the committee.
“I was not present for the interagency meetings mentioned in the letter or in the referenced tweets. I had no direct access to any information in those meetings that may or may not have been classified.”
“The national security problems we face are wicked and complex; we wrestle with them constantly on this committee,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) reported to Defense News. “What I cannot support are nominees who reduce complex national security conversations to partisan soundbites.”
Harris may not be finished in casting tie-breaking votes in the senate. She is expected to serve as the tie-breaking vote for at least two additional Biden nominees if votes continue along party lines.