Today Democratic candidate Jon Ossof secured a Senate seat in an intense race against incumbent David Perdue. The win gives the Democratic Party control of the Senate, in addition to their control of the House of Representatives.
With the sweep, President-elect Joe Biden will be capable of enacting his agenda. The Senate is split 50-50 down party lines, but Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will serve as the tie-breaking vote. It’s the first time in six years that the Democrats will operate a majority in the Senate. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said one of the first things he wants to do is deliver $2,000 stimulus checks.
“It feels like a brand new day,” he said today at a press conference.
At just 33 years old, Ossoff will be the youngest Democratic senator elected since Joe Biden took office as Delaware senator in 1973. He is also the first Jewish senator elected by Georgia and the first from the South since the 19th century.
“This campaign has been about health and jobs and justice for the people of this state, for all the people of this state,” Ossoff said in a video early this morning. “They will be my guiding principles as I serve this state in the U.S. Senate.”
I know @ReverendWarnock and @Ossoff. We’ve talked about the promise of our country. How we must help Americans with $2,000 stimulus checks, ensure our children have clean air to breathe, and our small businesses can thrive. That’s who they are—and who they’ll be as U.S. Senators.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 5, 2021
Democrat control was also made possible by Senator-elect Rev. Raphael Warnock’s confirmed win last night. Warnock unseated incumbent Kelly Loeffler to become the first African American from Georgia elected to the Senate. He and Ossoff won with just over 50 percent of the vote.
“We were told we couldn’t win this election,” Warnock said last night. “With hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible…Georgia I am honored by the faith you have shown in me. I promise you this tonight, I am going to the Senate to work for all of Georgia.”
Joy comes in the morning. Thank you, Georgia. pic.twitter.com/Dw8wPWAMeI
— Senator-Elect Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) January 6, 2021
According to The Associated Press, turnout of Black voters propelled Warnock to success: “It was an alliance spanning from the most affluent Black residents of Atlanta, including recent transplants to Georgia, to those Black Georgia natives who hail from the most economically depressed pockets of the state.”
Pro-Trump rioters overtake the U.S. Capitol
In other election news, despite some Republican opposition, Congress was set to certify Biden’s win today. However, pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Police in Washington, DC were aware of planned “First Amendment demonstrations” that were scheduled to occur sometime from January 5 to January 7. Law enforcement’s initial reaction to the Pro-Trump mob appears relatively mild according to photos and videos across social media.
More photos from the scene as rioters from the "March for Trump" stormed the U.S. Capitol resulting in the evacuation of lawmakers, staff and reporters and the lockdown of at least three buildings. https://t.co/XQSfT96tG9 pic.twitter.com/2gL9tzFxro
— Axios (@axios) January 6, 2021
Mayor Muriel Bowser enacted a citywide curfew from 6 p.m. tonight to tomorrow at 6 a.m.
“The behavior that we are witnessing is shameful, unpatriotic and, above all, it is unlawful,” Bowser said at a public safety briefing.
President Donald Trump took to social media to call for law and order. In a video, which has been removed by Facebook but not Twitter, he called his supporters “very special” and continued to decry the presidential election results as fraudulent.
Trump later tweeted that “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.”
The Sergeant-at-Arms said the Capitol is now secure, though rioters were still outside the building when the curfew set in. It is unclear when election verification will be completed, but CNN reported that Congressional leaders are pushing to finish tonight.