Harris casts tie breaking vote to confirm Biden nominee for the Office of Personnel Management

Vice President Kamala Harris exercised her duty to break a tie in the Senate on Tuesday and sided with Democrats to confirm President Joe Biden’s nominee for the director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), according to The Hill.

Harris was called on due to a 50-50 split along party lines of the divided upper house of Congress where Republicans and Democrats squared off on Biden nominee Kiran Ahuja. 

This isn’t her first time getting tapped by the executive branch for a job, however. Capitol Hill is familiar with Ahuja due to her work for the Obama administration as an executive director of the Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

The now confirmed OPM director was nominated in February for the position, but staunch opposition by Republicans has slowed her confirmation process. 

Republicans objected to Ahuja as the OPM director due to her progressive stance on issues such as abortion rights and critical race theory, both of which are close to the hearts of many on the right. 

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) helped head the effort to hold up the confirmation, saying that he was concerned that the then-nominee would take critical race theory and integrate it into federal directives. 

Critical race theory forces its followers to admit that every person, not a minority is actually racist and an aggressor and needs to not only admit that, but actively work to fix it, in some cases, by acquiescing to people of color they live or work around. 

 “On this vote, the ‘yeas’ are 50 [and] the ‘nays’ are 50,” Harris said when breaking the tie. “The Senate being equally and evenly divided, the vice president votes in the affirmative. The nomination is confirmed … and the president will immediately be notified of the Senate’s action.”

This is Harris’s fourth time to break a tie in the Senate and the second time for a Biden nominee.