When was the last time a Vice President chose to let a tied Senate vote fail, without using their negative casting vote?

The Politicus
May 17, 2022 10:02 AM 0 Answers
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I was reading a recent question on why a Vice President might choose to use a negative casting vote on a tied vote in the Senate rather than just letting the motion fail by withholding their vote, when I wondered how common this latter scenario actually is.

I know it's happened in the past because I found a few relevant excerpts from Riddick's Senate Procedure:

On occasions he (the Vice President) has refused to vote
in the case of a tie;25

25Apr. 17, 1917, 65-1, Record, p. 767; see also tie votes on the following dates; Feb. 7, 1919, Jan. 22, 1920, Feb. 9, 1921, July 18,1921, Apr. 7, 1922, May 8, 1928.


In one instance in 1949, the Vice President announced
the tie vote and stated that inasmuch as the Chair would
vote in the negative, his vote is not necessary to defeat the

38Oct. 18. 1949, 81-1, Journal, p. 809, Record. p. 14842

These examples are all from over 70 years ago though - has the current Vice President, Kamala Harris, ever chosen not to exercise her casting vote? By this, I mean that she was:

  • Physically presiding over the Senate when a tied vote occurred;
  • Had the opportunity to place a casting vote (i.e. not on votes which require more than a simple majority), and;
  • Chose not to vote in the negative, but to let the motion fail.

If this scenario has never happened during Kamala Harris' term of office, when was the last time this happened?

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