As the dust settles from Georgia’s monumental Senate runoff elections, Democrats are making very clear what agenda they will pursue now that they will likely control the White House and both chambers of Congress.
As of Wednesday morning, Raphael Warnock (D) is the projected winner over Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R), and it appears that Jon Ossoff (D) will defeat Sen. David Purdue (R). If these results stand, the Senate will be split 50-50, giving Democrats control of the upper chamber because Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will serve as a tie-breaking vote.
What do Democrats plan to do?
Taking control of Congress and the White House is a significant feat, and it allows one party to advance its agenda without much resistance.
Now, Democrats will have the opportunity to advance their policies, many of which have been blocked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) for the last six years.
Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) revealed Tuesday exactly what Democrats can do with their newfound power by passing legislation blocked by McConnell.
- Stimulus Checks: House Democrats passed a bill that would provide Americans with $2,000 stimulus checks after President Donald Trump asked for stimulus checks greater than $600. The Republican-controlled Senate, however, squashed the effort.
- The Equality Act: “The Equality Act would would provide consistent and explicit anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.”
- The DREAM Act: A bill introduced to Congress nearly a dozen times over the last two decades, often with bipartisan sponsors, it would “pathway to legal status for undocumented youth who came to this country as children,” according to American Immigration Council.
- Voting Rights Act: Democrats have attempted to legislatively restore a part of the Voting Rights Act that was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2013. With McConnell in charge of the Senate, Democrats have been unsuccessful in their endeavors.
Pappas said Democrats can also make headway on “infrastructure,” giving states and local governments more funding, likely referring to coronavirus-related aid, and “climate action.” It was not clear whether Pappas was referring to the far-left Green New Deal.
Other Democrats were more explicit.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said Democrats can now pursue “student loan cancellation,” the end of the death penalty, and “climate justice.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said Democrats can increase the minimum wage, advance “guaranteed health care,” promote “repro justice,” likely a reference to wider abortion access, and fight for “racial justice.”
“VICTORY in Georgia must lead to transformative change across America! Recurring survival checks, union jobs that pay a living wage, guaranteed health care, racial justice, voting rights, immigration reform, climate action, repro justice, education, and MUCH more. It can’t wait!” she said.
Brian Fallon, who served as a senior member of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, added that Democrats can now “eliminate the filibuster” and “reform the courts,” a likely allusion to packing the federal courts with liberal justices.
This power shift in Washington, D.C., is significant particularly because it happened so quickly.
Over the span of just two years, the Republican Party, under Trump’s leadership, lost the House (in the 2018 midterms), the White House, and now the Senate.