Democrats to take control of the Senate on Wednesday as Warnock, Ossoff set to be sworn in
The Democrats will regain control of the Senate on Wednesday afternoon.
Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer told reporters on Tuesday that Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock – who defeated GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in Georgia’s twin Jan. 5 Senate runoff elections – will likely be sworn in on Wednesday. Also taking the oath of office that afternoon will be Alex Padilla, who was appointed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom to succeed Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
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Harris stepped down from her Senate seat on Monday, ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Harris at the U.S. Capitol at noon ET on Wednesday.
Fox News confirmed that Harris will swear in the three senators a couple of hours after the inauguration.
The Wednesday swearing in of Ossoff and Warnock will come one day after the Georgia Secretary of State’s office officially certified their Senate election victories.
Once Ossoff, Warnock and Padilla take their oaths, the Senate will be split 50/50 between the Democrats and Republicans. But the Democrats will hold a razor-thin majority, as Harris – in the vice president’s constitutional role as president of the Senate – will hold the tie-breaking vote.
After six years as Senate majority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell will revert to minority leader on Wednesday, with Schumer taking over as majority leader.
Fox News has confirmed that Schumer and McConnell are meeting later Tuesday afternoon, as they work on a power-sharing agreement for the evenly split Senate. The negotiations will deal with how the Senate operates and how bills will advance with committees evenly split between the two parties.
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The last time the Senate was split 50/50 was for the first six months of 2001.
Asked about the power sharing negotiations, Schumer told reporters “I’m talking to McConnell later. We’ll see what happens.”
Fox News’ Peter Doocy and Patrick Ward contributed to this report