After the January 6, 2021, insurgency where mostly Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Building to prevent Joe Biden’s certification as the 46th President, it became more apparent than ever that a Senate majority is critical for Democrats.
The Georgia runoff election changed the tide of governing in the United States until 2022. Unless something drastic happens, Democrats now control the White House, House of Representatives, and the Senate with VP Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.
If Biden wants to leverage his position and start making legislative changes, it’s much easier to do that with Chuck Schumer in the lead than it would be for Mitch McConnell. The majority party gets control at the committee level, ensuring cabinet picks and reconciliation votes can breeze through in the coming months.
It Is Still a Long Path to Follow for Legislative Change
The Senate might offer a technical majority to Democrats, but it won’t be the most comfortable place to pass legislation. With the filibuster rules in place, a minimum of 60 votes is necessary to proceed on most new bills.
That means Democrats must work across the aisle to build relationships with their Republican colleagues if they want to get anything done.
What Biden and the Democrats can accomplish involves votes for replacing judicial members. Since Republicans won’t have enough votes in the Senate to prevent a confirmation, they can work to shape the course of American justice over the next few years. If McConnell had been the majority leader still, nothing would probably have been accomplished.
What to Expect Through 2022
The first item on Biden’s agenda is to restart the American economy, which shrank at 3.5% in 2020. It was the largest contraction in the United States since 1946.
We can also expect swing votes to be unpredictable in the Senate. Joe Manchin is a Democrat, but he leans toward the conservative spectrum. Lisa Murkowski is more of a moderate Republican. Both senators are likely to cut deals in some policy areas.
Biden hit the ground running right after his inauguration. The next two years should be quite interesting in American politics.