Top congressional Democrats rejoiced Wednesday following the results of Tuesday’s highly anticipated runoff race in Georgia, where they are projected to pick up at least one more Senate seat and the outlook on the second race seems high in their favor.
“Buckle up!” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Twitter early Wednesday.
His comment comes ahead of what is likely be a contentious joint session of Congress where lawmakers will vote to certify the results of the presidential election. In a final test of loyalty to President Trump, several Republicans have promised to vote against the Electoral College’s certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win.
Despite this, Democrats are high off of a crucial win Tuesday night, which came in spite of continuous attacks against the election process in Georgia and constant unsubstantiated declarations by Trump that widespread voter fraud occurred in November.
“It feels like a brand new day,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement. “For the first time in six years, Democrats will operate a majority in the United States Senate — and that will be very good for the American people.”
Later at a press conference, Schumer promised to make passing $2,000 coronavirus relief checks for every American a top priority for the new Congress, a measure repeatedly blocked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
“Because of the courageous leadership of Georgians, America will have a Democratic Senate working hand-in-hand with our Democratic House Majority and President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday.
Georgia Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock made history, becoming the first Black senator in his state and ousting Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler from her position though she has yet to concede.
Meanwhile, Democrat Jon Ossoff holds a tight lead against Sen. David Perdue, but the race remains too close to call, according to Fox News’ Decision Desk.
“Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff ran and won on the values of advancing equality and opportunity for working people across the state and the nation,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said. “In sending these two outstanding Democratic Senators to Washington, Georgians cast their ballots for a fairer, accountable and more compassionate America.”
“Inspired by our beloved John Lewis, Senators-elect Warnock and Ossoff’s hunger for justice will bring necessary Good Trouble to the Senate,” Pelosi added.
Schumer also refused to commit to whether he would push to introduce a bill to do away with the filibuster, an unpopular change in Senate procedure that does not have the full backing of the Democratic party, with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., being the most notable dissent.
House Democrats laid out a preemptive wishlist of things they hoped to see succeed under the new Congress, including passing the DREAM Act and making strides on climate change.