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We all remember the 2016 election as one of scandal and controversy and the inauguration as something full of protests, “fake news” etc. But what is more important is what President Trump’s cabinet has done since their appointments. If you start from the top, it would be Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States.

Prior to this position, he served in a variety of governmental positions including a Member of the House of Representatives from Indiana, Chair of the House Republican Conference, and most recently as Governor of Indiana. While serving as Governor, he passed some fairly controversial laws including the Religious Freedoms Restoration Act which allowed for stronger legal defense for discrimination against people of the LGBT+ community. He was officially sworn in as Vice President of the United States on January 20, 2017.

While Pence hasn’t been the highlight of news in 2017 very often, he has done quite a few notable things–including several firsts for a Vice President. Just a week after he was sworn in as Vice President, he spoke at the March For Life Rally. Another first for a Vice President came a few weeks later when he cast the tie-breaking vote for Betsy DeVos’ confirmation as Secretary of Education.

Pence has cast five other tie-breaking votes while serving as Vice President. Two of these were at the end of March involving H.J.Res.43. The first vote was to proceed with the vote of the act and the second was to pass this bill to become law. Most notably this law contributed to defund Planned Parenthood.

Pence’s next tie-breaking vote was in July for the American Health Care Act (also referred to as “Trump Care“). This was a motion to proceed with a vote for it.

Pence then had to break another tie vote with H.J.Res.111 in October of 2017. This bill was aimed to protect banks and credit cards from class action lawsuits.

Pence ended the year with a sixth tie-breaking vote for the amendment to Senate’s Tax Bill. This vote put a limitation on funds to be used for primary and secondary education.

For better or for worse, the Republican Party has benefited from Pence needing to break ties in the Senate. He has used this power a total of six times in the year 2017, putting him on track to break the record previously held since 1861 to cast more than ten tie-breaking votes in his term.

We will have to wait and see what 2018 will hold for Vice President Pence.

Nicole Masaki is a current student at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York and is graduating in May 2018. She is a triple major in English, Environmental Studies, and Philosophy.

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