US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has formally resigned from the Senate on Monday, two days before she will be sworn in as the United States vice president, a post that will see her preside over the upper chamber.
“Serving as your Senator has been an honor,” Harris wrote in an open letter to Californians on Monday.
“Thus, as I leave the United States Senate, this is not goodbye. This is hello,” she wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle, indicating that in her capacity as the vice president, she will also become the “president of the Senate.”
“As I resign from the Senate, I am preparing to take an oath that would have me preside over it,” she said.
As vice president, Kamala Harris will provide the tie-breaking vote in a Senate that will be equally divided between 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans.
The Democratic Party will gain control of the Senate later this month when Georgia’s Democratic senators-elect Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock are sworn in.
“Since our nation’s founding, only 268 tie-breaking votes have been cast by a Vice President. I intend to work tirelessly as your Vice President, including, if necessary, fulfilling this Constitutional duty,” she wrote, adding, “At the same time, it is my hope that rather than come to the point of a tie, the Senate will instead find common ground and do the work of the American people.”
Kamala Harris is being replaced by Alex Padilla, the secretary of state of California who was appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom. Padilla will be the first Latino senator from California.
Before elected to the Senate in the 2016 California Senate election, Harris, the daughter of a Jamaican and Indian immigrant family, was the attorney general of California, a post she held after finishing her tenure as district attorney of San Francisco.