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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

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 6: Last stand in Georgia

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer, Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 6: Georgia had not backed a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992 and Donald Trump's defeat in this Deep South stronghold, and his reaction to that loss, would help cost Republicans the U.S. Senate as well. Georgia was Trump's last stand.

On Air Force One, President Trump was in a mood. He had been clear he did not want to return to Georgia, and yet somehow he'd been conscripted into another rally on the night of Jan. 4.

McConnell: Trump "provoked" Capitol mob

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

Why it matters: Trump was impeached by the House last week for "incitement of insurrection." McConnell has not said how he will vote in Trump's coming Senate impeachment trial, but sources told Axios' Mike Allen that the chances of him voting to convict are higher than 50%.

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden Cabinet confirmation schedule: When to watch hearings

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The first hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations begin on Tuesday, with testimony from his picks to lead the departments of State, Homeland and Defense.

Why it matters: It's been a slow start for a process that usually takes place days or weeks earlier for incoming presidents. The first slate of nominees will appear on Tuesday before a Republican-controlled Senate, but that will change once the new Democratic senators-elect from Georgia are sworn in.