Vice President Kamala Harris cast her first tie-breaking vote on a President Biden nominee Wednesday, advancing his pick for undersecretary of defense for policy, according to reports.
Harris has previously broken three ties on legislation in the evenly split Senate – 48 Democrats and two independents who causus with them versus 50 Republicans – but the vote that advanced Colin Kahl’s nomination from the Armed Services Committee was a first for a contentious nomination, Defense News reported.
Republicans have lined up against Kahl, a former national security adviser to Biden when he was vice president, because of his positions on the Middle East, including the Iran nuclear deal and his past social media rhetoric toward conservatives.
During former President Trump’s term, Kahl reportedly once tweeted the “Republican party has debased itself at the altar of Trump.”
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Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, accused Kahl of “partisan soundbites.”
“The national security problems we face are wicked and complex; we wrestle with them constantly on this committee,” Inhofe said, according to Defense News. “What I cannot support are nominees who reduce complex national security conversations to partisan soundbites.”
Republicans have also accused him of tweeting classified information, calling for an investigation.
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Harris is expected to have to break at least two more ties before Kahl is confirmed, according to Defense News.