Here’s How a Republican Senate Could Significantly Moderate a Biden Administration

Following wins by Republicans Dan Sullivan in Alaska and Thom Tillis in North Carolina, it looks increasingly likely that Republicans will maintain control of the U.S. Senate. Currently Republicans have won 50 seats while Democrats maintain control of 48.

This leaves two Senate races still undecided in Georgia that are currently headed for a run-off election at the beginning of January. By Georgia law, if no Senate candidate reaches the threshold of 50% in their race, a run-off election is held between the top two candidates to decide the outcome.

The first uncalled race is between Republican incumbent Senator David Perdue and Democrat challenger Jon Ossoff. Senator Perdue received 49.71% of the vote compared to Ossoff’s 47.96% in the November 3 general election.

The Georgia special election between a myriad of candidates ended with incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler receiving 25.90% of the vote compared to Democrat challenger Raphael Warnock who received 32.91%.

These two races will be decided in runoff elections on January 5, 2021. Until then, control of the Senate remains in the balance.

Now, if Biden is sworn in as the 46th president next year, and Republicans keep control of the Senate, it will be a remarkable turn of events. Prior to Election Day, Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight 2020 Election forecast projected that Democrats had a 75% chance to win control of the Senate.

To be clear, The Daily Citizen has not projected a winner in the presidential race. The next president will not be officially declared until the Electoral College meets on December 14.

The last time a newly elected Democrat president was sworn in without Democrats controlling both houses of Congress was in 1885 following the election of President Grover Cleveland. In that 49th Congress, Democrats had a majority in the House of Representatives while Republicans controlled the U.S. Senate.

In the lead up to the 2020 election, many liberals believed that a Joe Biden presidency could mean the most progressive presidential administration in American history.

Socialist Bernard Sanders, D-Vt., said in July that he had worked with the Biden campaign to form six task forces to negotiate an agenda compromise that, “if implemented, will make Biden the most progressive president since Franklin Roosevelt,” in the words of Sen. Sanders.

However, several key policy goals of a potential Biden Administration would likely be thwarted by a Republican-controlled Senate.

On climate change, the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force calls for a “national mobilization to build a clean energy economy in the next decade,” the elimination of “carbon pollution from power plants by 2035,” the installation of “500 million solar panels, including eight million solar roofs and community solar energy systems, and 60,000 onshore and offshore wind turbines,” “net-zero emissions for all new buildings by 2030,” and “upgrades to up to two million households and affordable and public housing units.”

Though a Biden Administration could attempt to do some of these things unilaterally, many of these items would be enormously expensive, meaning Congress would be needed to allocate funding for the projects.

On healthcare, the task force calls for the expansion of “Medicare coverage by enabling older Americans to enroll beginning at age 60,” the establishment of “a high-quality public option plan, administered by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid” and the provision of “free or low-cost prescription drugs proven effective in treating for chronic illness.”

It is virtually guaranteed that all three of these ideas would need Congressional approval.

Regarding immigration, the plan calls for the support of the American Dream and Promise Act, a “100-day moratorium on deportations of people already in the United States,” and the creation of “a roadmap to citizenship for the nearly 11 million” illegal aliens who currently reside in the United States.

Again, these items would need to be approved of and passed by both houses of Congress.

Though many Americans complain about Congress’ lack of ability to get things done, this is a feature of American government, not a defect.

Alexander Hamilton or James Madison wrote this in Federalist No. 51:

“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

You can follow this author on Twitter @MettlerZachary

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