On Sunday afternoon, Vice President Kamala Harris led an American delegation to the United Arab Emirates to express condolences after the death of the federation’s president. By Monday morning, she was on her way home.
The need for the 36-hour-turnaround reflects one of the critical dual roles Harris has been forced to play in office. She is both the second most high-profile member of the administration and the 101st senator, the latter of which requires her to be in Washington in case she needs to cast a tie-breaking vote.
In her 16 months as vice president, Harris has broken 23 ties in her official role as president of the Senate, according to the official Senate count. That puts her third of all-time, only trailing America’s very first vice president, John Adams (29 votes), and its seventh, John C. Calhoun (31 votes). Last week alone, Harris cast six tie-breaking votes.
Her current boss, Joe Biden, broke all of zero ties while serving for eight years as vice president under President Barack Obama.