Democrats take control of U.S. Senate
Washington, jan 07: The Democratic Party has captured control of the Senate after winning the two seats up for grabs in runoff elections in the key state of Georgia, giving President-elect Joe Biden a majority in both houses of the US Congress and delivering a setback to President Donald Trump in his last days in office.
Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff on Wednesday defeated Republican incumbents Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue respectively.
The elections for the two Senate seats were held on Tuesday. With this victory, both the Democrats and the Republicans have 50 members each in the 100-seat Senate.
However, Kamala Harris, who would be sworn in as the US Vice President on January 20, would cast any tie-breaking votes, thus giving her party a majority in the Senate.
A simple majority in the Senate would give the incoming Biden Administration a crucial say in major appointments and will give him a chance to advance his legislative agenda.
The results are a rebuke of President Trump, whose supporters stormed the US Capitol Wednesday to try to stop Congress from counting the Electoral College results.
Trump''s ongoing attempts to overturn the election results overshadowed the runoffs.
The Georgia election was re-run because none of the candidates in the November general election achieved the 50 per cent needed for victory under state rules.
An estimated four million Georgians turned out to vote in the run-off election.
Senator Chuck Schumer would now be the Senate Majority leader and Mitch McConnell the Senate Minority Leader.
â€œNow, because of the courageous leadership of Georgians, America will have a Democratic Senate working hand-in-hand with our Democratic House Majority and President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
â€œIt feels like a brand-new day. For the first time in six years, Democrats will operate a majority of the United States Senate, and that will be very good for the American people,â€ Schumer told reporters at a news conference.