ELECTION 2020

Vice President-elect Harris To Resign Her Senate Seat Monday

Jan 17, 2021, 10:41 AM
FILE: Vice President-elect Sen. Kamala Harris (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)...
FILE: Vice President-elect Sen. Kamala Harris (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will resign her Senate seat on Monday, two days before she and President-elect Joe Biden are inaugurated.

Aides to the California Democrat confirmed the timing and said Gov. Gavin Newsom was aware of her decision, clearing the way for him to appoint fellow Democrat Alex Padilla, now California’s secretary of state, to serve the final two years of Harris’ term.

Padilla will be the first Latino senator from California, where about 40% of residents are Hispanic. Newsom announced his choice in December, following intense lobbying for the rare Senate vacancy from the nation’s most populous state.

Harris will give no farewell Senate floor speech. The Senate is not scheduled to reconvene until Tuesday, the eve of Inauguration Day, two weeks after supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol as lawmakers were meeting to affirm Biden’s election victory.

That siege, Harris said in an interview broadcast Sunday, “was seismic. It was an inflection moment. You know, sometimes we think an inflection moment is the bringing of something that is positive. No. It was in many ways a reckoning. It was an exposure of the vulnerability of our democracy.”

Padilla’s arrival, along with Harris becoming the Senate’s presiding officer when she’s sworn-in as vice president, is part of Democrats’ upcoming Senate majority. But the party still needs Sens.-elect Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock of Georgia to be certified as victors in their Jan. 5 elections and then be sworn in.

Harris will be the first Black woman and first woman of South Asian descent to serve as vice president, but her Senate departure leaves the chamber’s roster without a Black woman. Harris was just the second Black woman senator, winning her California election 17 years after Democrat Carol Moseley Braun finished a single term representing Illinois.

Among many potential successors to Harris, Newsom passed over at least two prominent Black women, U.S. Reps. Karen Bass and Barbara Lee. Bass also was among Biden’s finalists for running mate.

Democrats were in the minority during Harris’ four years on Capitol Hill. Perhaps her biggest mark came as a fierce questioner of judicial nominees and other witnesses as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Harris was viewed as a future presidential candidate almost immediately upon joining the Senate in 2017. She announced her White House bid in January 2019 but dropped out the subsequent December after a lackluster campaign and before the ballots were cast in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses. Biden, himself a former senator, invited her to join the national ticket in August.

The wins by Ossoff and Warnock in Georgia ensured a 50-50 Senate, positioning Harris as the tie-breaking vote for Democratic control. But Ossoff and Warnock cannot join the chamber until Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger certifies the final vote tally. Raffensperger, a Republican, has said he could act as soon as Tuesday, conceivably allowing Padilla, Ossoff and Warnock to join the Senate together as early as that afternoon’s session.

But Republicans will maintain a narrow majority until all three take office and Harris sits in the presiding officer’s chair.

Harris’ early departure from the Senate has multiple precedents.

Biden was the last sitting senator to be elected vice president. He resigned his Delaware post on Jan. 15, 2009, five days before he and Barack Obama were inaugurated. Obama, a senator at the time of his election, had resigned his Illinois seat two months before Biden.

Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, have enjoyed conversations and debates over how Emhoff should be addressed when Harris takes office.

During their joint interview with “CBS Sunday Morning,” Harris joked that some of Emhoff’s friends suggested he could be dubbed the “first dude.” Emhoff added there were other ideas “I can’t repeat on national television.”

Vice presidents’ spouses — all of them wives before Emhoff — have typically been called the “second lady,” a nod to the “first lady” being the president’s wife.

All kidding aside, Emhoff told CBS’ Jane Pauley, he would be the first “second gentleman” in U.S. history

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Election 2020

Voters cast ballots at an early voting polling location for the 2020 Presidential election at Madis...
CHRISTINA A. CASSIDY and TODD RICHMOND Associated Press

GOP seeking power over elections in Wisconsin, Minnesota

Wisconsin's secretary of state has no role in elections, but that could change if Republicans are able to flip the seat this year and pass a law that would empower the office with far more responsibilities.
10 days ago
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 28: U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), Vice Chair of the House Select Committee to ...
ERIC TUCKER Associated Press

Witness tampering at Jan. 6 hearing? Cheney raises prospect

In a Jan. 6 committee hearing already sprinkled with notable moments, Rep. Liz Cheney said Tuesday that the panel had learned that former President Donald Trump had recently tried to contact a witness whom "you have not yet seen in these hearings."
1 month ago
An Atlanta-area special grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump's attempts to overtu...
Sara Murray and Jason Morris, CNN

Graham, Giuliani, Eastman and other Trump advisers subpoenaed in Georgia election probe

An Atlanta-area special grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia has subpoenaed a handful of key Trump allies, including his former attorney and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham
1 month ago
Voters cast ballots at an early voting polling location for the 2020 Presidential election at Madis...
SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN and MORGAN LEE Associated Press

Screams, threats as New Mexico counties try to certify vote

Deep-seated conspiracy theories about the security of voting machines erupted into heated, angry and at times threatening outbursts as New Mexico counties were deciding whether to certify results from their recent primary.
2 months ago
Richard Nixon (1913 - 1994) gives the thumbs up as he addresses the White House staff upon his resi...
CALVIN WOODWARD Associated Press

Watergate 50th intersects Jan. 6 hearings

Watergate and Jan. 6 are a half-century apart but in both episodes, a president tried to do an end run around democracy.
2 months ago
Couy Griffin New Mexico elections...
MORGAN LEE Associated Press

New Mexico prosecutor says GOP county must certify vote or legal action will follow

New Mexico's top prosecutor on Thursday told a Republican-led county commission to comply with an order to certify results from its primary election, the latest development in a case arising from far-right conspiracy theories over voting machines that have spread across the country.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Vice President-elect Harris To Resign Her Senate Seat Monday