Democrats take Senate majority when Warnock, Ossoff and Padilla are sworn in
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
Democrats are expected to take control of the Senate on Wednesday when three new party members are sworn in.
The elected Democratic Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff from Georgia and the appointed Alex Padilla from California will take office in the afternoon, bringing the division of the Senate party to 50:50. Newly inducted Vice President Kamala Harris, who will hold the Chamber’s decisive vote, is expected to swear by the three senators.
The narrow Democratic majority will give President Joe Biden a boost as he attempts to fill out his cabinet and pass an agenda dictated by a coronavirus aid package. Although the new Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer and the Democrats will decide what the Senate will pursue, they will face the challenge of finding Republican support for most laws to be passed.
Warnock, 51, and Ossoff, 33, won special elections last month that determined 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 soon-to-be Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Will have 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 he wants 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 the impeachment process while continuing to validate candidates for the executive branch.
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