Democrats gain control of US Senate as new members take oath

21 Janvier, 2021, 06:39 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • US Senate Control Shifts To Democrats As Georgia Pair Sworn In

The Senate split will now be 50-50, but Democrats will have the edge because Harris will have a tie-breaking vote.

Three new senators were sworn into office Wednesday after President Joe Biden's inauguration, securing the majority for Democrats in the Senate and across a unified government to tackle the new president's agenda at a time of unprecedented national challenges. And Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of NY, who has served as minority leader the past four years, is now the chamber's majority leader. Ossoff, a 33-year-old Jewish filmmaker who previously interned for Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), the late civil rights icon, will be the youngest incoming senator in decades.

Among the Democratic Senate's first orders of business: the impeachment trial of Trump, who is no longer president but could face a lifetime ban on serving in public office if he is convicted.

The pair of Democratic victories in the January 5 Senate runoff elections gave the party control of both the White House and Congress, with the thinnest of majorities in the upper chamber.

The Republicans' twin losses in Georgia have been blamed largely on President Trump, who was fixated on his own defeat in the state, which Biden won by less than 12,000 votes. We are turning the page on the last four years, we're going to reunite the country, defeat COVID-19, rush economic relief to the people, ' Ossoff told reporters at the Capitol. That focus undermined the argument that the Senate needed Republican control to serve as a check on Biden, which internal GOP polling showed was the most potent way to win swing votes.

The new Senate is also poised to hold former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial on a charge of inciting insurrection passed by the House last week after his supporters stormed the Capitol.

Schumer, a brash New Yorker, admitted to some nervousness as he began his first speech as majority leader.

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Senate control should mean Biden will have an easier time getting his cabinet members and judge picks confirmed.

Biden in November became the first Democratic presidential nominee to win the state since Bill Clinton's 1992 victory.

It is an arcane fight Mr McConnell has inserted into what has traditionally been a more routine organising resolution, but a power play by the outgoing Republican leader grabbing at tools that can be used to block Mr Biden's agenda.

Biden has said he wants Congress to press ahead on all fronts, confirming his nominees and considering his legislative priorities, but also holding the former president responsible during the impeachment trial.

In his own final acts as majority leader, McConnell made a break with Trump, blaming the defeated president for having "provoked" the mob.

"I congratulate my friend from DE, look forward to working with him as our new president, wherever possible", McConnell said.

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