Updated Jan 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Schumer declares Democratic majority in the Senate

Photo of Chuck Schumer
Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) declared on Wednesday that Democrats have gained control of the Senate, calling it a "brand new day" in Washington.

The state of play: The AP projected that Rev. Raphael Warnock has defeated Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R). Democrat Jon Ossoff is currently leading in the race against former Sen. David Perdue (R), but the contest is still too close to call.

Why it matters: A 50-50 Senate would give Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the tie-breaking vote after Jan. 20. Democratic control of the Senate will decide the fate of Biden's presidency, from whether he gets his Cabinet nominees to whether progressives get their tax hikes and public spending.

What they're saying: “It feels like a brand new day. 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," Schumer said in a statement."

  • "America is experiencing one of the greatest crises we have ever faced, and the Senate Democratic Majority is committed to delivering the bold change and help Americans need and demand. Senate Democrats know America is hurting — help is on the way," he continued.
  • "For too long, much-needed help has been stalled or diluted by a Republican-led Senate and President Trump. That will change with a Democratic Senate, Democratic House, and a Democratic President."

Of note: Schumer thanked Stacey Abrams, as well as all Black women leading political advocacy and fundraising groups, in a press briefing later on Wednesday.

  • Abrams founded voting-rights group Fair Fight in 2018 to organize against voter suppression and to increase voter registration after losing her gubernatorial race in Georgia.
  • She is credited by Democrats for boosting turnout in the state critical to taking the Senate.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi added in a statement:

“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. 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."

Go deeper: Georgia's four-year fallout

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