Colin Kahl: Harris to cast first tie vote for a Biden candidate after Senate split Pentagon election


The Senate came to a standstill 50-50 in a straight-line procedural vote to appoint Kahl’s nomination to the Armed Service Commission and break the tie from Harris. He will probably have to cast two more tie votes on Kahl’s nomination before confirming the Pentagon’s number three civilian position.

Harris had previously been on Capitol Hill, anticipating a possible tie vote for another candidate, until Alaska GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski joined the Democrats to support Vanita Gupta’s appointment as attorney general. Gupta was confirmed by the Senate at 51-49.

But Republicans were united against Kahl. At a controversial confirmation hearing, Kahl was criticized for his tweets during the Trump administration, including statements that the “Republican party shook off Trump’s altar” and the GOP was a “historical response” party. About Syria. Kahl apologized to Republican senators for using “sometimes disrespectful” language in tweets.

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“Committee Republicans did not vote against Dr. Kahl simply because we disagreed with his political views,” said Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe, a senior Republican in the Senate Armed Service. “Good and kind people can’t agree with each other – you don’t have to call names, give hominem attacks and accuse you of war crimes.”

Republicans have also accused Kahl of disclosing classified information, and a group of 18 GOP senators sent a letter to the FBI last week asking for an investigation into their tweets saying classified information was being discussed.

However, Democrats dismissed GOP concerns and moved on with Kahl’s nomination. And unlike the appointment of President Neera Tanden as budget director to Joe Biden – which sank thanks to Senator Joe Manchin’s opposition – the West Virginia Democratic Party supported Kahl’s nomination in committee, despite confirming his confirmation.

Manchin told CNN last month that Kahl’s tweets weren’t so much directed at “individuals and senators” and focused more on politics.

Kahl’s nomination came to a standstill in the Armed Services Committee, 13-13, so Wednesday’s procedural vote was needed to allow the nomination from the committee to the Senate floor.