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Harris swears in Murray as first woman Senate president pro tempore

Vice President Harris swore in Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) as president pro tempore of the Senate on Tuesday, marking the first time in U.S. history that a woman will hold the position.

Harris, the first female vice president in U.S. history, is also presiding over the Senate on the first day of 118th Congress. The president pro tempore is the third in line for the presidency and presides over the Senate when the vice president is not in the chamber.

Murray was nominated by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to serve in the role after outgoing Senate President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy (I-Vt.) retired. The job comes with an ornate office on the ground floor of the Capitol and a large security detail.  

Harris on Tuesday also swore in 35 senators who were elected in November’s midterm elections or reelected to serve another term. The midterm elections were the first time since President Franklin D. Roosevelt was in the White House that a president did not lose a single incumbent senator of the same party during their first midterm elections.

Harris last year cast 26 tiebreaking votes in the evenly split 50-50 Senate, but her role as tiebreaker is expected to be less busy with the Democrats gaining a crucial 51st seat in the midterm elections.

A White House official said that Harris on Wednesday will then travel to Illinois to tout the administration’s economic plan and the bipartisan infrastructure law.

Source: The Hill

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