A slim 51-49 majority never sounded so good to Senate Democrats.
Sen. Raphael Warnock’s victory in the crucial swing state of Georgia gives Democrats a much-needed “lift,” according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is now more confident in his ability to defeat Trump-inspired Republicans in Congress and reach out to other GOP legislators to advance bipartisan priorities with President Joe Biden.
“It will be better for the country if we can accomplish certain things across party lines. And the Republican Party will benefit more from it, he continued.
Even though there was just one seat up for grabs on Tuesday, Warnock’s victory in the close race is an unexpected high point for his party’s midterm election campaign.
As Republicans take control of the House, it makes it simpler for Senate Democrats to organize and govern and gives them a significant advantage in a polarized Congress.
The extreme political pressure of a 50-50 Senate, which forced all Democrats to support party lines while allowing one senator, most notably Joe Manchin, to defy party lines, is no longer present.
The extra seat will give Senate Democrats a substantial majority when the next Congress convenes in January, giving them more control over floor votes and the committees, which are the heart of the legislation.
The days when Capitol Hill would halt in anticipation of Vice President Kamala Harris’ motorcade for her to break ties in votes, particularly for Biden’s nominees, will mostly be a thing of the past. She has had to do this more frequently than any of her predecessors.
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., stated, “Chuck Schumer’s job is about to get a lot simpler.”
The new dynamic ensures that the Senate will act as a barrier to Republican House legislation that Democrats disagree with — and a potential bridge for bipartisan deal-making as Republicans assess the post-Trump landscape.
The Senate has been evenly divided for the most extended period in modern history.
There will be plenty of room for compromise, especially if Republican leader Mitch McConnell is eager to convince voters his party can deliver ahead of the 2024 presidential and congressional elections, even though it still takes 60 votes to end a filibuster and advance the majority of bills in the Senate.
On Wednesday, McConnell said nothing about Warnock’s victory or the altered political landscape.
For starters, Democrats will find it simpler to use their 51-49 majority in January for straightforward government chores, including as votes on Biden’s nominees for executive and judicial positions, which Republicans have used as weapons.