The reign of Mitch McConnell as the “grim reaper” who killed every single progressive legislation has come to an end as Vice President Kamala Harris is expected to swear in three new three Democratic senators, officially giving Democrats control of the Senate.
The swearing-in of the three new senators will be groundbreaking. Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff will be the first Black and first Jewish senators, respectively, representing Georgia, while Harris’ successor, Alex Padilla, will be California’s first Latino senator.
Warnock and Ossoff won the Georgia Senate runoffs earlier this month. Padilla, the former California secretary of state, was appointed to the Senate by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Ossoff, 33, will also be the youngest senator in the chamber, and the youngest Democrat to serve in the Senate since President-elect Joe Biden, who was sworn into the chamber at the age of 30 in 1973.
After Warnock, Ossoff and Padilla are sworn in, the party breakdown of the Senate will be 50-50. Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer will become the first New Yorker and first Jewish lawmaker to become Senate majority leader.
Vice President Harris will wield power as the Senate’s crucial tie-breaking vote, helping the Biden administration confirm its appointments and giving Democrats the gavels of committees in charge of holding oversight hearings and crafting far-reaching legislation.