The Republican nightmare is now a reality.
On January 20th, President-Elect Joe Biden will be sworn into the office of the presidency. To make matters worse for Republicans, Reverend Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff defeated incumbent Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in the Georgia runoff. Their victory evens the Senate at 50-50, but the tie-breaking vote rests in the hands of the sitting Vice President, Kamala Harris. And finally, despite Republican gains in the House of Representatives, the Democrats still have a slight majority (222 seats to 211).
What does this mean?
Well, for starters, President-Elect Joe Biden now has a clear avenue to begin to lay out his policies with close to no resistance. Democratic control of the Senate, presumably under Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, should be able to confirm most, if not all, of his judicial and Cabinet selections. As a result, Republicans will not be able to challenge any controversial selections like Neera Tanden, who Biden picked to be director of the Office of Management and Budget. This will be aided by the potential of eliminating the 60-vote filibuster threshold.
The bigger question is how will this affect legislation that Biden could attempt to push through, such as ending the filibuster, packing the court, the Green New Deal, higher taxes, and more. One consolation prize for Republicans is that the Democrats have zero room for error in the Senate. If one Senator votes against an idea, the legislation dies. This is crucial as Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has already stated publicly that he will not support ending the filibuster or packing the Supreme Court to eliminate the 6-3 Republican advantage.
“I want to allay those fears, I want to rest those fears for you right now because when they talk about whether it be packing the courts, or ending the filibuster, I will not vote to do that,” Manchin said in an interview on Fox News. “I will not vote to pack the courts … and I will not vote to end the filibuster.”
Now, things can change very quickly in Washington, D.C. The question is whether Schumer can cut enough deals to get moderate Democrats, like Manchin, to fall in line and vote with the party on issues such as that. Actions speak louder than words. How many times have we heard empty promises from politicians in Washington, D.C.?
Biden most likely will make getting increased stimulus checks out to the American people a high priority. Biden told supporters at a rally he held for Warnock and Ossoff that $2,000 stimulus payments would “go out the door immediately.” Both Democratic Senator-Elects have pledged to support the increased stimulus payments.
Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris and Biden each vowed to provide amnesty for at least 11 million illegal immigrants in the country currently. Harris promised to introduce an immigration bill that would offer this amnesty and “reinstate DACA.” Additionally, Biden also pledged to provide free taxpayer-funded healthcare coverage to illegal immigrants who are enrolled in DACA. Offering free health care to the estimated 22 million illegal aliens who live in this country could cost U.S. taxpayers anywhere from $23 billion to $66 billion per year.
One Trump accomplishment Republicans can kiss goodbye is his tax cuts. Both Biden and Harris have vowed to end Trump’s tax cuts. A Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate makes this a near certainty.
Another near certainty is Biden going after guns. Biden’s gun plans include banning the manufacture and sale of “assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.” Biden’s official webpage also states that he will “regulate possession of existing” assault weapons under the National Firearms Act. This act currently requires people who own machine-guns, silencers, and short-barreled rifles to register them with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Biden’s plan would expand this registration to assault weapons. He would also impose a $200 tax on each of these rifles.
Biden will also most likely take steps to enact police reform. “Defund the police” was the rallying cry throughout the summer of 2020 when Black Lives Matter dominated the media airwaves in the wake of the death of George Floyd. To appease this sect of the Democrat party, Biden promised to create a national police oversight commission within his first 100 days in office. Biden has publicly stated that he does not support defunding the police, but wants to begin the process to “reimagine policing.”
Finally, Big Tech will only get stronger. Republicans botched a chance to repeal Section 230 (the broad immunity which protects online internet services from being sued) and now they are paying the price. After the chaos and violent protest that resulted in the breaching of the Capital building, Twitter deleted three of Trump’s tweets and suspended his account for twelve hours.
To make matters worse, the social media platform then threatened to permanently ban Trump from Twitter if he violated their “Civic Integrity or Violent Threat policies” in the future. This will only get worse.
Ultimately, the Democrats controlling this trifecta offers the Biden Administration a significant amount of power when it comes to enacting policy. And think about this: Sen. Bernie Sanders claimed that if the Democrats won the Georgia runoffs (which they did), Biden should become the most progressive president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
That is a scary thought.