What’s at stake nationally in Georgia senate race?

  • The U.S. Senate and Capitol dome in Washington, D.C. Photo by Greg Willis—© 2010 Greg Willis

Published: 12/3/2020 11:04:33 AM
Modified: 12/3/2020 11:04:22 AM

We ousted Trump and regained the White House but without the Senate it’s change by executive order or progress by drips.

So, what’s at stake in Georgia on January 5? Everything, as it will have a huge impact on the ability of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris to pass any legislation in the next four years. If the Democrats win BOTH Senate seats then there is a 50-50 tie and Vice-President Harris breaks the tie, becoming, possibly, the most powerful person in the country! If the Democrats lose, it will be very hard to pass meaningful legislation in the Senate as Senator McConnell and the Republicans will be as or more obstructionist as when Barack Obama was President, especially since they refuse to publicly admit they have lost the election.

More specifically, the Senate has the power to confirm approximately 500 Biden appointments in the fourteen executive office departments, (e.g. Secretary of State, Defense and Treasury). Some Republican senators have already said they will let Biden know who they will confirm and who they will reject. For instance, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are being considered for Labor Secretary and Treasury Secretary. Do you think Republicans would approve either of them?

Plus, the Senate confirms ALL federal Judges not just Supreme Court justices. President Obama appointed 312 federal judges! Yet, remember what the Republican controlled Senate did with Obama nominees from 2014-2016. Nothing, while refusing to even hold hearings for Merrick Garland, a moderate, whom Obama nominated to fill the seat of Antonin Scalia. A Republican Senate could choose to confirm NO judges or only judges they find ideologically acceptable, greatly diminishing Biden’s power to appoint progressive judges to offset President Trump’s almost 200 appointments. Like Supreme Court judges, federal judges serve for life.

Finally, with a mandate from the American people – 79 million votes and counting, which is 5.5 million more than Trump and the most any candidate for President has EVER gotten, there is an opportunity to pass FDR type legislation that will improve the lives of millions of Americans of all colors, especially poor, low income, and middle income people, including:

Enacting a second robust CARES ACT, like the one the House passed in October for $2.2 trillion.

Raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to a livable wage of $15/hour.

Confronting police brutality, the racial inequities of the criminal justice system, systemic racism, improving racial economic equity as well as passing a new Voting Rights Act to end voter suppression.

Tackling the Climate Emergency by passing a “Green New Deal,” which will create millions of good paying jobs in the U.S., ensure a clean energy future, and allow us to be the world’s leader in reducing fossil fuel emissions by 2030, as we have only ten years to dramatically slow global warming and avert catastrophe for all sentient beings and the natural world.

Providing every American affordable health care.

Raising taxes on big corporations and the richest Americans, with the funds being used to help support these reforms.

What can you do?

First, make a contribution TODAY to the campaigns of Raphael Warnock (warnockforgeorgia.com), who is running against Senator Kelly Loeffler, and Jon Ossoff (electjon.com), who is running against Senator David Perdue. Perdue and Loeffler are 100% Trump loyalists and Loeffler has incurred the wrath of the players on the WNBA team she owns for her opposition to Black Lives Matter. Warnock and Ossoff are progressives. Or, you can support Stacey Abrams’s superb organization Fair Fight 2020 (fairfight.com) o rtwo other excellent advocacy groups – Black Voters Matter Fund (blackvotersmatterfund.org) and New Georgia Project (newgeorgiaproject.org). The three organizations were instrumental in Democrats winning Georgia in a presidential election for the first time in 28 years!

Then, send postcards (envoysforhumanity.org/postcards) and/or make phone calls (peoplesaction.org) to encourage people to vote on January 5.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said at The 1963 March on Washington: “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”

Allen J. Davis lives in Dublin. Tom Weiner lives in Northampton, Massachusetts


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