POLITICS

Biden Promises To Move Fast To Get ‘Big Things Done’ With Apparent Democratic Senate

With Democrats poised to hold both chambers, Biden vowed immediate action on "economic relief, on climate, on racial justice, on voting rights and so much more."

President-elect Joe Biden says he will hit the ground running after Democrats seemingly gained control of the Senate following Georgia’s runoff election on Tuesday.

“Georgia’s voters delivered a resounding message yesterday: they want action on the crises we face and they want it right now,” Biden said in a Wednesday morning statement. “On COVID-19, on economic relief, on climate, on racial justice, on voting rights and so much more. They want us to move, but move together.”

Democrat Raphael Warnock defeated GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler early Wednesday morning, and Democrat Jon Ossoff is expected to win his race against Republican David Perdue. If both seats turn blue, it will mark the first time since 2010 that Democrats have full control of the federal government.

Biden, who is set to move into the White House on Jan. 20, said he will get to work immediately with his new House and Senate. He reiterated his campaign commitment to work across party lines, saying the COVID-19 pandemic “hits red states and blue states alike.”

“It looks like we will emerge from yesterday’s election with Democratic leadership in the House and the Senate, and of course I’m pleased that we will be able to work with Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and a Majority Leader [Chuck] Schumer,” he said. “But I’m also just as determined today as I was yesterday to try to work with people in both parties ― at the federal, state, and local levels ― to get big things done for our nation.”

A Democrat-controlled Senate could help pass more COVID relief bills much more quickly than in recent months. Congress finally passed a stimulus bill at the end of December after months of hotly contested negotiations that often fell along party lines. One immediate change may be that some Americans will see more stimulus money, since Biden promised to approve the $2,000 COVID relief checks if both Warnock and Ossoff won.

Unified control over Congress also means Biden has the chance to pass legislation on important issues such as climate and health care.

Democrats will now be able to chair committees, and Biden has control over nomination processes for key government posts. In his statement, Biden said he hopes those processes will start immediately, even as the Georgia results are confirmed ― citing critical positions at the Treasury and departments of state, defense and homeland security.

“They need to be in their jobs as soon as possible after January 20th,” Biden said.