Democrats won control of the U.S. Senate for the first time in six years with victories in two runoff races in Georgia -- a stunning result in a state that hadn’t sent a new Democratic senator to Washington for two decades.
The race call came amid chaos in the nation’s capitol as supporters of President
The double win marked a final setback for Trump in his efforts to turn the election his way, including his urging protesters to “cheer on” those challenging the election, and only telling them to retreat after they broke windows in the Capitol and forced members of Congress to barricade in the chamber.
Republicans said his challenge of the election results had cost the party two Senate seats.
“It turns out that telling the voters that the election is rigged is not a great way to turn out your voters,” said Utah Senator
North Dakota Senator
“We didn’t just wake up to that, obviously,” he said. “Senator Perdue has sounded that alarm for at least two years.”
Turnout in Republican counties didn’t match the enthusiasm among urban, suburban and Black Democrats who turned out in greater numbers even than in November.
The Democrats’ victory means a 50-50 split between Republicans and the Democratic caucus, with incoming Vice President
In a tweet, Biden said he called Warnock and Ossoff on Wednesday morning “to congratulate them on their hard-fought campaigns. Georgia voters delivered a resounding message yesterday: They want action on the crises we face and they want it right now.”
Biden’s party will hold the gavels in both the House and Senate, with the first Democratic trifecta, including the White House, in a decade. Senator
The victories by Ossoff and Warnock, who will be the first Black U.S. senator from Georgia, were propelled by record turnouts in the Southern state and mark a major shift in Georgia politics. That follows Biden’s narrow win there in November -- the first time Georgia voted for a Democratic president since 1992.
Nearly half of the state’s votes come from the Atlanta metropolitan region, and Democrats have been gaining in the diverse, fast-growing suburbs that ring the city.
While Biden can now escape a blizzard of subpoenas from Republican Senate committee chairs intent on digging further into his son
Centrist Democratic Senator
Biden and Schumer will have to manage a Senate that has an energized liberal wing including
“There’s a real progressive-establishment divide in the party,” said Joshua Huder, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Government Affairs Institute.
As in 2009, the battle for another economic relief package will provide an early test, though back then Democrats had far larger majorities in both chambers.
Budget-related legislation using so-called reconciliation rules could be used as vehicles for other Democratic priorities, like a public health care option for the Affordable Care Act, climate measures and a progressive rewrite of the tax code.
Yet many other agenda items, such as gun-control measures, federal codes for voting rights, higher minimum wages and new family-leave regulations, would likely fall by the wayside with the filibuster intact.
Democrats will also be under pressure to deliver finally on a comprehensive immigration overhaul after decades of false starts, with the scope and shape of such a bill dependent in large part on whether they need Republican votes.
--With assistance from
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