The runoff election for two Senate seats in Georgia is merely fifteen days away. If Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock win, the balance of the Senate will tip in favor of the Democrats and President-elect Joe Biden will be able to overcome the flagrant obstructionism of Mitch McConnell and enact an agenda for all of us, not just those at the top.
On day one of his administration, Biden intends to begin the implementation of his Build Back Better agenda. Task number one is to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, including the successful rollout of the vaccination program. Unfortunately, due to the incompetence of the Trump administration, he is looking at an uphill battle that will require the expertise of the actual best people to address it. Among the many “botched response” articles written, NPR recently described how Pfizer is sitting on millions of doses of vaccine waiting for the government to ask for them. To Biden’s credit, he has already appointed known professionals like Ron Klain who served as the “Ebola czar” under President Obama to be his chief of staff — signaling a hard pivot away from installing unqualified family members and donors into leadership positions. However, many of Biden’s other picks will require Senate confirmation.
Beginning with his historic selection of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Biden has stayed true to his commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by nominating cabinet picks who represent the entire United States. Consider just a few firsts: Rep. Deb Haaland, a Native American woman to lead the Department of the Interior; Mayor Pete Buttigieg, an openly gay man as Secretary of Transportation; Alejandro Mayorkas, a Latino man to serve as Secretary of Homeland Security; and retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the first Black service member for the role of Secretary of Defense. The Republicans to date have given us no reason to believe that they will appreciate the value of confirming these consequential choices. And if Mitch McConnell is still calling the shots next month, he can hold up confirmation of Biden’s judges as he did with Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court nomination. McConnell could also single-handedly determine whether or not Trump and his cronies are brought to justice by potentially obstructing Biden’s pick for Attorney General.
Without talented leadership and a Senate majority, Biden’s economic recovery plan hangs in the balance. His objective to provide “immediate relief to working families, small businesses and communities,” including support for working parents and a $15-an-hour minimum wage, could become just another casualty of Mitch’s sinister need to prevent any Democratic successes. Aid to state, local and tribal governments decimated by the pandemic could be held up. The extension of unemployment insurance, desperately needed to prevent layoffs as a cornerstone for the economy to bounce back, may never come to fruition. And forget plans of environmentally friendly infrastructure, manufacturing, innovation and clean energy under a Republican-controlled Senate. Those will become pipe dreams before our eyes.
Haven’t we been at Mitch’s mercy long enough?
Here is how you can help:
- Volunteer in Georgia or anywhere across the country. DemCast keeps an up-to-date list of events for anyone ready to help flip the Senate blue!
- Donate to the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff’s campaigns right now.
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