While the nation awaited the results of Georgia’s two U.S. Senate races Tuesday night, Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., put forward a list of Democratic goals that could potentially be accomplished if their party has control of both chambers of Congress.
If Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock win their races against incumbent Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, Democrats and Republicans would each hold 50 seats in the Senate, with Democrats holding the tie-breaker vote with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. This, plus a House majority and a Democratic White House would give the party the potential to check a number of items off their agenda.
“Flipping the Senate would be huge to get votes on popular bills blocked by Mitch McConnell,” Pappas tweeted. He went on to list several items including $2,000 stimulus checks, infrastructure, action related to climate change, the DREAM Act, and voting rights. “America needs this,” he added.
Pappas blamed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for standing in the way of efforts to achieve these goals, but if Republicans lose their majority he would no longer have the power he currently wields.
Democrats have called for passing new voting rights legislation since the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder invalidated portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 dealing with federal oversight of certain jurisdictions. The House passed a bill in 2019 that would have restored what the Supreme Court eliminated, but the Senate did not bring it to a vote.
Most recently, McConnell blocked a vote on $2,000 stimulus checks to Americans even though President Trump urged lawmakers to make them a reality. McConnell and other Republicans had already agreed to $600 payments and believed that a more targeted approach to assisting Americans during the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing shutdowns was preferable to sending money to everyone, including those who did not suffer losses.