Republicans need only win one of two districts in the state to retain control of the upper chamber
WASHINGTON – Georgia’s runoff election Tuesday will determine who controls the Senate – Republicans or Democrats – and whether President-elect Joe Biden can implement his agenda.
With the stakes so high, Biden and outgoing President Donald Trump held rallies in Georgia on the last day of the campaign.
The future president traveled to Atlanta, the state’s largest city, to support two Democrats, documentary filmmaker John Ossoff and Baptist preacher Rafael Warnock.
“With their votes in the Senate, we can make the progress we need with jobs, health care, justice, the environment, and many other things,” Biden said.
Meanwhile, Trump campaigned in the upstate Republican enclave of Dalton, campaigning for Senator David Perdue, who opposes Ossoff, and Senator Kelly Lefler, whose opponent is Warnock.
He warned that a Democratic majority in the Senate would give complete latitude to what he often calls “the extreme left.”
“It will give them the ability to shove through whatever delusional leftist legislation they want, they’ve ever dreamed of,” Trump said. – There will be no more of your religious freedom, no more of your borders, and a wonderful new wall. There will be no more of your police departments as they are, and there will be no more of your savings.”
Ballots cast early will not be counted until Tuesday, so the official winners will barely be determined the night after the election.
The Senate election is being watched closely in Washington by Biden’s transition team and his Republican opponents, as the outcome will determine what leverage the future chief executive will have in advancing his legislative agenda after he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are sworn in at noon Jan. 20.
After last Sunday’s swearing-in ceremony for lawmakers, Republicans have 50 seats in the Senate and Democrats have 48.
A Republican victory in one or both districts in Georgia would bring the party a majority and the right to set the agenda in the Senate, as well as having a majority on all legislative committees in the Senate.
If Warnock and Ossoff win, however, the Senate seats would be evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, with Harris having the deciding vote, including committee organization and control of the legislative calendar, in the event of a tie.
Republican control of the House would complicate Biden’s legislative agenda for the next two years, likely leading to extensive negotiations on issues such as new health care benefits, immigration control, and climate-related regulations.