POWER GAMES Who controls the Senate 2021?
by David Boroff, Jon Lockett
5:59 ET, Jan 21 2021 Updated: 9:13 ET, Jan 21 2021
THE Democrats are now officially in charge of the Senate - but only by the narrowest of margins.
That means President Joe Biden has inherited a Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and Senate.
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Kamala Harris will have the casting vote in the Senate
Who now controls the Senate?
Chuck Schumer became majority leader following the swearing in of Democratic Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Alex Padilla of California by Kamala Harris on January 20, 2021.
Warnock, 51, and Ossoff, 33, had won special elections earlier in the month that determined control of the Senate.
Schumer said in his first speech as majority leader: We have a lengthy agenda, and we need to get it done together.
"This will be an exceptionally busy and consequential period for the United States Senate."
Raphael Warnock speaks during an Election Night event in Atlanta
Credit: 2020 Getty Images
The ceremony officially cemented a shift in power in the chamber in the wake of the US election.
There is now a 50-50 split in the Senate which means the new Vice President will be able to break any possible ties as she will have the casting vote.
The Vice President also serves as president of the Senate.
What does that mean to Joe Biden?
The narrow Democratic majority will help Joe Biden as he tries to fill out his Cabinet and pass an agenda headlined by a coronavirus relief package.
The Senate also has to set a structure for an impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump.
The House charged him with inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 but has not yet sent the impeachment article to the Senate.
Biden hopes the Senate can spend part of its time on the impeachment trial while still confirming executive branch nominees.
What is a Senate runoff?
The candidates in Georgia were forced into the January runoff contests after no candidate reached the 50 per cent threshold needed to win outright in multi- candidate races.
States require runoff elections when no candidate receives a majority of the vote.
The National Conference of State Legislatures said that the runoff system was intended "to encourage candidates to broaden their appeal to a wider range of voters, to reduce the likelihood of electing candidates who are at the ideological extremes of a party, and to produce a nominee who may be more electable in the general election."
The Dims will try again to impeach Trump as a punitive measure to keep him out of politics and to keep him from trying again to oust deep state operatives.