Update (1255ET): Schumer said on Wednesday that one of his first priorities would be to push through the $2K stimulus checks that both Nancy Pelosi and President Trump have said they would support (before the measure was scuttled by Mitch McConnell).
passing legislation to provide $2K stimulus checks will be one of the first orders of business once Democrats take control of the chamber on Jan. 20.
“One of the first things I want to do…is deliver the $2,000 checks to the American families,” Schumer told reporters during his first press conference after Tuesday’s runoffs elections in Georgia that put Democrats on track to regain control of the Senate for the first time since 2014.
Right now, the Senate appears headed to a 50-50 split, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris poised to cast any tie-breaking votes.
Update (1150ET): No recount has been announced in the Perdue-Ossoff race, suggesting Ossoff’s margin is over the 0.5% required for Perdue to request one under Georgia law.
Top Georgia election official Gabriel Sterling says that Jon Ossoff will win by a wide enough margin to avoid an automatic recount. pic.twitter.com/L4GOHBKxBU
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 6, 2021
* * *
Update (1130ET): A Georgia official sees ‘no evidence of runoff vote irregularities’ according to Bloomberg, adding that Ossoff may have won by enough of a margin to avoid a recount.
FOX NEWS: DeKalb County to manually scan 19,000 ballots due to technical issues
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) January 6, 2021
We’re guessing that doesn’t count as an ‘irregularity.’
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Likely Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is very excited over the Georgia election – tweeting “Buckle up!” on Wednesday following candidate Jon Ossoff’s victory declaration.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 6, 2021
Expect Democrats to go all in now…
And Democrats — including incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi — will have to ask themselves this question: what good is this political capital if you don’t spend it, and fast. They may lose the House in 2022 anyway, so why not push hard?
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 6, 2021
* * *
Democrats are poised to control the US Senate after Georgia runoff candidate Jon Ossoff declared victory over Republican David Perdue Wednesday morning, as he enjoyed a lead of around 16,000 votes in a race that many news organizations held off on calling due it being too close.
At this point, the outstanding votes in Ossoff’s race that are yet to be counted are from heavily Democratic precincts. Yet, with 17,000 military and overseas ballots that can be coujnted as late as Friday, the narrow results will almost certainly spark legal challenges according to Bloomberg.
“Whether you were for me or against me, I will be for you in the U.S. Senate,” said Ossoff in an online statement.
Earlier in the night, Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock defeated GOP Senator Kelly Loeffler in another runoff.
The narrow results will almost certainly spark legal challenges or recounts that also could delay a final determination of Senate control.
Two Democratic victories in Georgia would narrowly flip control of the Senate to Democrats. The chamber would be split 50-50 between Republicans and the Democratic caucus, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris casting tie-breaking votes. -Bloomberg
Not only would full control of both Congress give Democratic President-elect Joe Biden a unified government, his nominations would undoubtedly sail through their confirmations. Assuming the race is declared for Ossoff and Warnock, Democrats would have 50 seats on the Senate and the majority with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote.
As Goldman notes, this would give Democrats a very slim margin in both chambers (222 seats in the house, with 5 seats into the majority). They expect full control to spark near-term fiscal stimulus which the bank has ‘penciled in’ at $600 billion or 2.7% of GDP, followed by “a limited amount of tax increases and spending increases later in the year.”
That said, other legislation which would likely require 60 votes to pass in the Senate will hit roadblocks, meaning that bipartisan support would be required to pass legislation related to infrastructure, a minimum wage increase, environmental policies, tech regulation and other issues.
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