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 tie-breaking vote (or casting vote
) has been made 244 times by 35 different Vice Presidents.
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.
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... Read More