The 2020 elections in November should have answered the question of who will be president and which party will control Congress. But with the many challenges to the results and the runoff election in Georgia, it has been uncertain.
Now we know. Joe Biden has been officially declared president-elect and will take office Jan. 20. The Democrats won the majority in the House of Representatives again on Nov. 3, and they also took a 50-50 tie in the Senate after the runoffs.
Georgia Elections and a Tie in the Senate
The Senate has 100 total seats. The November 3 election gave Democrats (and Independents who vote with the Democrats) 48 seats, and Republicans 50 seats. In Georgia, a candidate has to get at least 50% of the vote to win. That didn’t happen for either U.S. Senate seat, so there was a runoff election on January 5. Democrat Jon Ossoff beat Republican David Perdue and Democrat Raphael Warnock beat Republican Kelly Loeffler, giving the democrats a 50-50 tie in the Senate.
Democrat Control of Lawmaking
Democrats already had a controlling majority in the House of Representatives. Now they have the president and vice president. Since the vice president breaks any ties in the Senate, that means the Democrats basically control all three of the parts needed to make new laws. This means they can probably pass any law they want. At the moment, it looks like these laws may involve some form of the famous Green New Deal and more restrictions on gun ownership.
In recent decades, it’s been unusual for one political party win control of the White House, the House of Representatives, and the Senate. In fact, it seems that the American people like to use their vote to make sure the legislative power of government is split between the two major parties, ensuring more rigorous debate and a greater level of scrutiny of each law that passes. When one party holds complete control of lawmaking and can enact its own agenda without hindrance, it is often a time when major reforms are made that change lives across the nation.