On Wednesday, AP projected Jon Ossoff to be the winner of the Georgia runoff for the US Senate, giving the Democratic Party control of Congress and the White House.
Ossoff’s victory and that of fellow Georgia Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock flip the Senate, giving the Democrat party both chambers of congress and the executive branch. The majority in the Senate gives president-elect Joe Biden the power to potentially enact liberal legislation without Republican support, as the Senate’s party split will be 50-50 with Kamala Harris breaking tie votes. Warnock and Ossoff will respectively be the first Black and Jewish senators to represent Georgia.
“At this moment of crisis, as Covid-19 continues to ravage our state and our country, when hundreds of thousands have lost their lives, millions have lost livelihoods, Georgia families are having difficulty putting food on the table — fearing foreclosure or eviction, having difficulty making ends meet — let’s unite now to beat this virus and rush economic relief to the people of our state and to the American people,” Ossoff said earlier Wednesday ahead of CNN’s projection.
After no Georgia US Senate candidate received 50% of the vote in November, the races turned to two runoffs with control of the Senate at stake. A Democratic-led Senate could also confirm Biden’s nominees without Republican support, allowing the new administration to go bolder in its Cabinet picks and begin to overhaul the conservatives’ massive gains on the judicial bench over the past four years.
Note: Biden plans to pick federal Judge Merrick Garland for attorney general, creating a vacancy on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Now, Democrats will confront the question of what legislation they will pursue following the Trump administration. They spent Wednesday celebrating their quick reversal of fortune after being so long out of power. “I think we’re going to do big things,” said Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. “I think that the overwhelming number of Democrats are pointing in the same direction on all of this. Some faster than others, but all in the same direction” (CNN).
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CAROLYN KASTER/AP