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Incoming US Vice President, Kamala Harris has resigned from the U.S. Senate as she prepares to be sworn into office as the nation’s first female and first African American vice president.
She has formally submitted her resignation letter to Governor Gavin Newsom of California, dating it effective at noon.
Newsom said he will appoint California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to replace her. Padilla will be up for reelection in 2022.
‘This is not goodbye,’ Harris, the only African American woman in the U.S. upper chamber, wrote in an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle.
‘As I resign from the Senate, I am preparing to take an oath that would have me preside over it.’
She noted she was prepared to cast tie-breaking votes in the chamber, which will be a 50 Democrat, 50 Republican splits, but added she hoped senators would find ‘common ground.’
‘Since our nation’s founding, only 268 tie-breaking votes have been cast by a Vice President.
‘I intend to work tirelessly as your Vice President, including, if necessary, fulfilling this Constitutional duty.
‘At the same time, it is my hope that rather than come to the point of a tie, the Senate will instead find common ground and do the work of the American people,’ Harris, a Democrat from California noted
Biden is expected to push Covid-19 stimulus legislation in Congress as one of his first priorities after taking office, with a proposed $1.9 trillion ‘American Rescue Plan‘ that includes stimulus checks, $400 enhanced federal unemployment benefits, and a $15 minimum wage.
The Senate will also have to balance President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial as Biden takes office, while simultaneously confirming Biden’s Cabinet nominees. Though Democrats will soon have a majority in both chambers of Congress—they already have the majority in the House—the incoming Biden administration has pushed for a more bipartisan approach to governing, with Harris writing Monday that while she has the power to break Senate ties, ‘it is my hope that…the Senate will instead find common ground.’
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK