The question which political party would control the US Senate over the next two years hung in the balance in the two Senatorial run-off elections held in Georgia, Tuesday, January 5. The Democratic Party won both run-offs, and with two new seats thus secured, the Democratic and Republican Parties are tied, with 50 Senators each. This means that, given the new Vice-President’s authority to cast tie-breaking votes, it will fall to the Democrats to organize the body and serve as its Majority.
The victorious new US Senators from Georgia are: Raphael Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, and Jon Ossoff, a documentary film maker with an MS from the London School of Economics.
The Thing to Know:
A 50-50 tie in the Senate may make it a good deal easier for the incoming Biden administration to push its legislative agenda than a Democratic minority could have. On the other hand, since any defection from the party line by any of those 50 independent-spirited men and women can turn that majority into a minority, the Biden loyalists may find themselves trying to “herd cats.” In particular, moderate Democrats such as Joseph Manchin and Jon Tester may relish the power this situation offers them.