Why Warnock’s Win Takes Away Power From Manchin and Sinema

“It's just simply better. The bigger the numbers, the better.”

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Following Sen. Raphael Warnock’s hard-fought victory in Georgia’s Senate runoff race, the breakdown of the incoming Senate has finally been determined. With a 51-49 majority, Democrats will have firm control of the chamber. The additional seat will give the party a cushion when it comes to passing future legislation and committee control.

Party leadership has known what the power a win in Georgia provides, as well as the historical significance; these midterms are the first time since 1934 that the controlling party did not lose any Senate seats. Ahead of yesterday’s election, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (NY) said, "The truth is it's not a 1% difference. It's a world of difference.”

President Joe Biden echoed those sentiments. "It's always better with 51," he said ahead of the election. “It's just simply better. The bigger the numbers, the better.”

For the past 2 years, Vice President Kamala Harris has been on call as the tie-breaking vote. But now, Democrats have wiggle room to lose a vote in their party and still get enough support to pass legislation through the chamber. Centrist Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) will have less power to water down Biden’s agenda, and it will allow for bills to pass without unanimous Democratic support.

However, with the filibuster still in place and Republicans’ slim majority in the House, don’t expect a windfall of progressive bills to become laws.