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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

To-dos:

1. Swear in new senators: Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock can't become the 49th and 50th Senate Democrats until the Georgia secretary of state certifies their runoffs.

  • An official Brad Raffensperger's office told Axios that's likely to happen on Wednesday — Inauguration Day. But it could drag until a statutory deadline on Friday.

2. Replace the vice president: California Secretary of State Alex Padilla must be sworn in to replace incoming Vice President Kamala Harris, who plans to resign her Senate seat on Monday.

  • Padilla could do so as early as Tuesday — the day senators return from recess — but he told reporters last week it would likely happen Wednesday.

3. Assume majority mantle: Schumer still won't get to claim his new title until Harris is sworn in as vice president, empowering her to cast tie-breaking votes as Senate president. That happens just before noon Wednesday.

4. Divvy up power: Schumer and soon-to-be Minority Leader Mitch McConnell must settle on a power-sharing agreement, such as which party controls committees. There's precedent from the 50-50 Senate in 2000.

5. Hold confirmation hearings: So far, Senate committees have scheduled hearings for only five of Biden's Cabinet nominees — on the lower end, historically.

  • All five hearings — for State, Defense, Homeland Security, National Intelligence and Treasury — are now scheduled for Tuesday. They point to the importance of maintaining national security and economic confidence.

6. Plan impeachment: Schumer and McConnell also have to sort out when and how they'll hold President Trump's second impeachment trial.

  • The trial threatens to consume valuable time during Biden's first 100 days. The president-elect has suggested splitting legislative workdays to focus daily on impeachment and confirmation hearings.

7. Finish everything else: Biden recently unveiled a $1.9 trillion coronavirus package, and there's expected proposals for immigration legislation, infrastructure construction, etc.

Go deeper

Senate Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In a closely divided Congress, the Senate’s Mischief Makers could thwart their leaders' best-laid plans with their own agendas.

Why it matters: On Wednesday night, we shared a list of House members who our leadership sources on the Hill consider some of the top troublemakers. But their Senate counterparts may be even more impactful in a 50-50 chamber, where Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tiebreaking vote.

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.

Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker