The Senate in the Balance

‘Now we take Georgia, then we change the world. Now we take Georgia, then we change America.” So declared an ebullient Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, on Saturday as he addressed supporters, and voters in Georgia should pay attention. The Peach State holds two Senate runoff races on Jan. […]

‘Now we take Georgia, then we change the world. Now we take Georgia, then we change America.” So declared an ebullient Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, on Saturday as he addressed supporters, and voters in Georgia should pay attention. The Peach State holds two Senate runoff races on Jan. 5, and how they turn out will determine whether Washington steers toward the center or sharply to the left.

If incumbents in North Carolina and Alaska hold their current leads, Republicans will have 50 Senate seats in the next Congress. But they need 51 for a majority to organize the body because Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will preside over the Senate. She would cast the deciding vote in a 50-50 Senate.

What difference would a single vote make? Republicans would lose their committee chairmanships and thus the power to serve as a check on the Biden Administration. Joe Biden deserves the Cabinet he wants in most cases, but a GOP Senate could deter appointments like Elizabeth Warren at Treasury. Oversight Chairman Ron Johnson’s probe of FBI and other abuses would cease.

Or consider the Democrats poised to run key committees if they organize the Senate. Bernie Sanders would run Budget, which means a squeeze on the Pentagon. Sherrod Brown of Ohio would run Banking, and Ms. Warren would run the financial institutions subcommittee. Have fun, bankers.

Oregon’s Ron Wyden would run Finance. He supports the $4 trillion Biden tax increase plus he wants to tax even unrealized capital gains as ordinary income. That means taxing the appreciation in the value of assets even if they aren’t sold during the year. He isn’t kidding.

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