Harris will leave the Senate Chamber two days before her inauguration as U.S. Vice President on Jan.20.
U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will step down from her Senate seat on Monday, aides confirmed, just days before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan.20.
Harris will leave the Senate shortly after Democrats narrowly won a majority, winning two ballots in Georgia this month.
With Democrats holding 50 of the chamber’s 100 seats, Harris will cast decisive votes.
She will not give a farewell speech on the Senate floor because it is not expected to meet until Tuesday.
Harris’ seat will be occupied by Democrat Alex Padilla, Secretary of State for California, who was chosen by Governor Gavin Newsom. Padilla will become the first Latino senator to represent the state, where around 40% of the population is Latino.
Harris, meanwhile, will become the first woman to hold the post of vice president, as well as the first black and South Asian person to hold the post.
She was previously only the second black woman to hold a Senate seat.
Senate to Vice-Presidency
Harris chose U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to swear in her as vice president on Wednesday. Sotomayor swore Biden as vice president in 2013.
She will use two Bibles for the swearing-in ceremony, including one belonging to Thurgood Marshall, the first black judge of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Marshall and Harris both attended Howard University, a renowned historically black university. The vice president-elect called Marshall one of his “greatest heroes”.
Wednesday’s simplified inauguration comes just over two weeks after supporters of President Donald Trump, encouraged by the president, stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress convened to certify Biden’s electoral victory.
Authorities have warned of further violence surrounding the inauguration and implemented increased security in Washington, DC and various U.S. state capitals.
Before the Capitol riot, Biden had said the inauguration would be a toned-down deal in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.