Georgia Democratic Senate candidates Raphael Warnock (R) and Jon Ossoff (L) clash their elbows during a “It’s Time to Vote” drive-in rally on December 28, 2020 in Stonecrest, Georgia.
Jessica McGowan | Getty Images
The Democrats took control of the Senate on Wednesday when three new party members were sworn in, which shook President Joe Biden’s ambitions in the White House.
The party now controls the presidency and both houses of Congress.
The Democratic Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff from Georgia and Alex Padilla from California took office and brought the Senate Party to 50:50. The newly-inducted Vice President Kamala Harris, who will hold the decisive vote of the chamber, swore the three senators.
The close Democratic majority will give Biden a boost as he attempts to fill out his cabinet and pass an agenda spearheaded by a coronavirus aid package. Although Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the Democrats will decide what the Senate will pursue, they will face the challenge of finding Republican support to pass most of the laws.
“We have a long agenda and we have to do it together. … This will be an extraordinarily busy and consistent time for the United States Senate,” said Schumer in his first speech as majority leader.
Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Also temporarily became President of the Senate on Wednesday. The 80-year-old is now third in line to the president, following Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Warnock, 51, and Ossoff, 33, won special elections earlier this month that established control of the chamber. You will become the first black and Jewish senators from Georgia.
Padilla, 47, was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to occupy Harris’ Senate seat when she stepped down to become Vice President. He becomes the first Latino Senator from California.
Ossoff posted photos of the elected Georgia senators at the president’s dedication ceremonies on Wednesday. He wrote with them, “Change has come to Georgia. Change is coming to America.”
Schumer, DN.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Are due to reach an agreement in the coming weeks on how to conduct Senate affairs. You need a power-sharing agreement to decide how many members each party has on committees and how those boards resolve relationships.
McConnell’s office has said there is a deal they want to make sure the Senate keeps the filibuster. Some Democrats have called for the tool to be removed so that bills can be passed by simple majority.
The Senate must also establish a structure for impeachment proceedings against former President Donald Trump. The House accused him of instigating a riot in the U.S. Capitol on January 6, but has not yet sent the impeachment article to the Senate.
Biden hopes the Senate can spend some of its time on impeachment proceedings while continuing to validate candidates for the executive branch.
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