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List of tie-breaking votes cast by Vice Presidents of the United States: Wikis

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The Vice President of the United States is the ex-officio President of the United States Senate, as provided in Article I, Section 3, Clause 4 of the United States Constitution:

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The tie-breaking vote (or casting vote) has been made 244 times by 46 different Vice Presidents.[1]

Contents

Historical significance

The first President of the Senate, John Adams, cast twenty-nine tie-breaking votes – a record that none of his successors has matched. His votes protected the president's sole authority over the removal of appointees, influenced the location of the national capital, and prevented war with Great Britain. On at least one occasion he persuaded senators to vote against legislation that he opposed, and he frequently lectured the Senate on procedural and policy matters. Adams's political views and his active role in the Senate made him a natural target for critics of the Washington administration. Toward the end of his first term, as a result of a threatened resolution that would have silenced him except for procedural and policy matters, he began to exercise more restraint in the hope of realizing the goal shared by many of his successors: election in his own right as president of the United States.[2]

In 2001, during the 107th Congress, the Senate was divided 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats and thus Dick Cheney's tie-breaking vote gave the Republicans the Senate majority. Interestingly, however, because the 107th Congress was sworn in on January 3, while the president and vice president were not sworn in until the 20th, Democrats technically held a 51-50 majority in the Senate for the 17 days while Al Gore was still Vice President. However, no substantive legislating was done in this time.

List of Presidents of the Senate by number of tie-breaking votes

There have been 244 tie-breaking votes cast by 46 Presidents of the Senate. The median and mean numbers of tie-breaking votes cast per Senate President are 3 and 5.30 respectively.

Rank by
# of Tie-
breaking
votes
# of Tie-
breaking
votes
President of the Senate Party Order in
Office
Term of Office President(s)
1 29 John Adams Federalist 1 April 21, 1789 – March 4, 1797 Washington
2 28 John C. Calhoun Democratic-Republican 7 March 4, 1825 – December 28, 1832 J. Q. Adams / Jackson
3 19 George Dallas Democratic 11 March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849 Polk
4 17 Richard Johnson Democratic 9 March 4, 1837 – March 4, 1841 Van Buren
4 17 Schuyler Colfax Republican 17 March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1873 Grant
6 12 George Clinton Democratic-Republican 4 March 4, 1805 – April 20, 1812 Jefferson / Madison
7 9 John C. Breckinridge Democratic 14 March 4, 1857 – March 4, 1861 Buchanan
8 8 Thomas Marshall Democratic 28 March 4, 1913 – March 4, 1921 Wilson
8 8 Alben Barkley Democratic 35 January 20, 1949 – January 20, 1953 Truman
8 8 Richard Nixon Republican 36 January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961 Eisenhower
8 8 Dick Cheney Republican 46 January 20, 2001–January 20 2009 G. W. Bush
12 7 Hannibal Hamlin Republican 15 March 4, 1861 – March 4, 1865 Lincoln
12 7 George H. W. Bush Republican 43 January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989 Reagan
14 6 Elbridge Gerry Democratic-Republican 5 March 4, 1813 – November 23, 1814 Madison
14 6 William Wheeler Republican 19 March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881 Hayes
16 4 Martin Van Buren Democratic 8 March 4, 1833 – March 4, 1837 Jackson
16 4 Levi Morton Republican 22 March 4, 1889 – March 4, 1893 B. Harrison
16 4 James Sherman Republican 27 March 4, 1909 – October 30, 1912 Taft
16 4 Henry Wallace Democratic 33 January 20, 1941 – January 20, 1945 F. Roosevelt
16 4 Hubert Humphrey Democratic 38 January 20, 1965 – January 20, 1969 L. B. Johnson
16 4 Al Gore Democratic 45 January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001 Clinton
22 3 Thomas Jefferson Democratic-Republican 2 March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801 J. Adams
22 3 Aaron Burr Democratic-Republican 3 March 4, 1801 – March 4, 1805 Jefferson
22 3 Daniel Tompkins Democratic-Republican 6 March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825 Monroe
22 3 Millard Fillmore Whig 12 March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850 Taylor
22 3 Chester A. Arthur Republican 20 March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881 Garfield
22 3 Charles Curtis Republican 31 March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933 Hoover
28 4 John Nance Garner Democratic 32 March 4, 1933 – January 20, 1941 F. Roosevelt
29 2 Adlai Stevenson Democratic 23 March 4, 1893 – March 4, 1897 Cleveland
29 2 Charles Dawes Republican 30 March 4, 1925 – March 4, 1929 Coolidge
29 2 Spiro Agnew Republican 39 January 20, 1969 – October 10, 1973 Nixon
32 1 Henry Wilson Republican 18 March 4, 1873 – November 22, 1875 Grant
32 1 Garret Hobart Republican 24 March 4, 1897 – November 21, 1899 McKinley
32 1 Harry Truman Democratic 34 January 20, 1945 – April 12, 1945 F. Roosevelt
32 1 Walter Mondale Democratic 42 January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981 Carter
36 0 John Tyler Whig 10 March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841 W. H. Harrison
36 0 William King Democratic 13 March 4, 1853 – April 18, 1853 Pierce
36 0 Andrew Johnson Democratic 16 March 4, 1865 – April 15, 1865 Lincoln
36 0 Thomas Hendricks Democratic 21 March 4, 1885 – November 25, 1885 Cleveland
36 0 Theodore Roosevelt Republican 25 March 4, 1901 – September 14, 1901 McKinley
36 0 Charles Fairbanks Republican 26 March 4, 1905 – March 4, 1909 T. Roosevelt
36 0 Calvin Coolidge Republican 29 March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923 Harding
36 0 Lyndon Johnson Democratic 37 January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963 Kennedy
36 0 Gerald Ford Republican 40 December 6, 1973 – August 9, 1974 Nixon
36 0 Nelson Rockefeller Republican 41 December 19, 1974 – January 20, 1977 Ford
36 0 Dan Quayle Republican 44 January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993 G. H. W. Bush
36 0 Joe Biden Democratic 47 January 20, 2009 – present Obama

References

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