Democrats will retain control of the US Senate after Senator Catherine Cortez Masto won the Nevada election, as Edison Research had predicted, giving US President Joe Biden a landslide victory.
Republicans are still close to taking control of the House of Representatives of the US Congress, while the counting of ballots from the elections held last Tuesday in the USA continues.
Cortez Maston won against Republican Adam Laxalt, the former attorney general who supported former US President Donald Trump.
“America showed that it believes in democracy”
With her victory, Democrats will control at least 50 Senate seats that Vice President Kamala Harris had the deciding vote on if they go, after Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, who defended his Arizona Senate seat, was confirmed on Friday. 50-50.
“America showed that we believe in our democracy, that the roots of democracy are deep and strong,” Democrat Chuck Schumer said at a press conference in the Senate.
The Senate is currently split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans. The newly elected Senate will be sworn in on January 3. Retaining control of the Senate means Democrats will still be able to approve Biden’s nominees, as is the case with federal judges.
If a seat were to be left vacant in the next two years, it would also mean appointments to the Supreme Court, which now has a conservative majority. If Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock wins the Dec. 6 Georgia runoff against Republican challenger Herschel Walker, it would increase the Democratic majority to 51-49.
This would give Democrats an additional advantage in passing those laws that can be passed with a simple majority vote. Most bills in the Senate require 60 votes.
It would also weaken the influence of Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who have blocked or delayed some of Biden’s key initiatives, including expanding some welfare programs.
Republicans have an advantage in the House of Representatives
It could be a few days or more before enough of the outcome of the House race is known to determine which party will have a majority in the 435-seat chamber. Republicans are still in charge.
House Republicans, if they win a majority, have vowed to try to undo Biden’s climate change initiatives and want to make the 2017 tax cuts permanent.
They are also planning investigations into the activities of the Biden administration and investigations into the president’s son, who had business dealings with Ukraine and China.
The Democratic-controlled Senate will provide Biden with confirmation of his nominees to fill dozens of federal judgeships.
That’s especially important for Democrats if a seat on the Supreme Court, which now has a 6-3 conservative majority, opens up in the final two years of Biden’s term.