Next Tuesday, if Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) defeats GOP challenger Herschel Walker (and every metric suggests he will), Democrats will have a 51-49 advantage in the U.S. Senate, a gain of one seat in the recent midterm elections.
And if Warnock wins, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) will no longer be able to stand in the way of progress being made by their Democratic colleagues in the upper chamber of Congress.
Nick Reynolds of Newsweek explains:
Depending on the result of next week’s runoff election between Georgia Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker, Democrats stand to control 51 seats in the U.S. Senate as well as the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, requiring both senators to break with their party to sink a piece of legislation.
Bottom line: Manchin and Sinema are about to lose what power they have.
“I don’t expect Manchin or Sinema to have much influence to be quite honest,” Joshua Huder, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Government Affairs Institute, told Newsweek.
“To the degree that they do have influence, it’ll be much more in the vein of the infrastructure bill-type influence,” Huder said in reference to concessions they received for fossil fuel permitting and corporate tax carveouts in a recent infrastructure package.
“They’re not going to be able to kill Democratic initiatives like they did,” he added. “They’re not going to be able to threaten not to go along with the filibuster.
“They’re not going to be able to do any of the stuff that really gave them a lot of veto power. They can be a positive influence in the sense that they can negotiate with Republicans, but that’s really the limit of what they can do.”
Gregory Magarian, a professor at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, concurs, noting:
“Republicans will need to pass legislation that Democrats will accept, while what we’ve seen Manchin and Sinema do over the last couple of years is pull the legislation sufficiently far to the right to be acceptable to those pivotal House Republicans.
“So at that point, if we’re thinking about this in fairly linear ideological terms, there really shouldn’t be anything left for Manchin and Sinema to do.”
Good! All they’ve done is obstruct, so it’s time they became powerless and irrelevant.