Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Monday officially resigned from her Senate seat, ending her four-year innings in the upper chamber of the US Congress.
Her resignation from the Senate came two days before the 56-year-old’s swearing in on Wednesday along with President-elect Joe Biden, making history as the first female, first Black and first South-Asian American vice president of the US.
Ms Harris, a Democrat, has formally submitted her letter of resignation to California Governor Gavin Newsom, CNN reported, quoting a Harris aide.
“I hereby resign as Senator from the State of California, effective January 18th, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).
“As I assume my duties as Vice President of the United States, I would like to thank the people of California for the honour of serving them in the U.S. Senate over the past four years,” CNN quoted Harris’ resignation letter to Newsom as saying.
Kamala Harris won her seat in November 2016 and was sworn in on January 2017. At the time, Harris was California’s attorney general.
Newsom has already named Alex Padilla, California’s secretary of state, to fill Harris’ seat.
The incoming vice president has spoken to Alex Padilla before he comes into office, according to a person with knowledge of the discussion.
Harris made history throughout her career, becoming the first Black woman in California to serve as a senator.
In her November victory speech, she recognised the hard battle women faced to exercise their civic rights and break into the upper echelon of American politics.
“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” Harris had said. “Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”
Now, Harris will preside over the same chamber that she is stepping down from, becoming president of the 100-member Senate.
In an op-Ed in the San Francisco Chronicle, Harris wrote, “Thus, as I leave the United States Senate, this is not goodbye. This is hello,” a nod to her changing position in the Senate as President of the chamber.
“As I resign from the Senate, I am preparing to take an oath that would have me preside over it,” she wrote.
Harris will now, as vice president, become a potential tiebreaking vote in the Senate, giving Democrats control of the chamber – which is divided 50-50 between the two parties – and the ability to advance nominations and some budget-related policies.
Meanwhile, Harris tweeted on Monday that January 20, 2021 will “mark a new chance to heal, rebuild, and strengthen our democracy we all cherish.”
“And fulfilling the promise of this moment will require each of us doing our part – together.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)