Monday, February 6, 2023
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What Raphael Warnock’s re-election means for Chuck Schumer

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer got here into the 2022 midterm elections in a really precarious place. Republicans solely wanted to realize one Senate seat to retake management of the higher chamber, placing an finish to his transient tenure as majority chief.

As an alternative, the New York lawmaker will proceed main the Senate following a historic political feat. Not solely did each single Democratic incumbent senator win re-election — an accomplishment no social gathering in energy has achieved because the Nineteen Thirties — however he will likely be a pacesetter with yet one more member of his caucus, confirmed by Sen. Raphael Warnock’s victory over Republican Herschel Walker in Tuesday’s Georgia Senate runoff election.

Warnock’s win and Democrat John Fetterman’s flipping of a Republican seat in Pennsylvania in November give Schumer’s Democrats an outright majority of 51 seats within the Senate for the second half of President Joe Biden’s first time period.

Main an outright majority will make a number of issues simpler for Schumer, who himself received re-election to a fifth time period final month, than the fragile 50-50 Senate he has presided over for the final two years, even with Republicans narrowly taking the Home of Representatives.

“The sensible results of the 51-seat majority — huge, important — offers us a purpose we will breathe a sigh of aid,” Schumer mentioned Wednesday morning. “Clearly, judges and nominees will likely be rather a lot simpler to placed on the bench. We’re so happy with our report with judges is without doubt one of the most important issues possibly essentially the most even issues we have completed.”

Schumer mentioned that it has been “superb” how Republicans have been in a position to make use of the divided chamber to procedurally maintain up judicial appointments nominated by President Biden.

“It should be rather a lot faster, swifter and simpler,” Schumer mentioned.

Democrats will even take full management of Senate committees, ending a power-sharing settlement Schumer and Sen. Mitch McConnell made in January 2021.

“Numerous occasions, [committee] chairs got here to me and mentioned I might like to maneuver this invoice ahead. However in a 10-10 committee, I am unable to do it. It’s going to be tied. That is all going to vary as a result of we’ll have the benefit on each committee,” Schumer mentioned. “It should imply that our committees may have better oversight means, subpoena energy.”

Schumer additionally used the chance to say he’ll supply an olive department to GOP members.

“One of many issues I hope to do as chief is even on this new electoral local weather is reached out to Republicans,” he mentioned. “There are a great variety of Republicans within the Senate and the Home who will not be MAGA Republicans and know that if the Republican Social gathering follows the onerous proper and the intense members of their caucuses, that they will proceed to lose floor as they’ve misplaced floor.”

Schumer was in a position to garner Republican votes on a number of main items of laws, just like the infrastructure funding invoice, gun security laws and the CHIPS and Science Act, the latter of which has helped ship large technological manufacturing investments in his house state in the previous few months.

Securing Democratic seats for full six-year phrases in aggressive states like Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona in 2022 was additionally essential for Schumer as he appears forward to a tricky Senate map in 2024, with Democratic incumbents having to defend three states received twice by Donald Trump — Ohio, Montana and West Virginia — in addition to different states which have seen shut contests lately, particularly in a presidential yr, like Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada and Arizona.

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