Democrats control Senate after three new senators are sworn in


Hours hours after after President President Joe Joe Biden Biden and and Vice Vice President President Kamila Kamila Harris Harris were were sworn sworn in in the the Senate Senate got got back back to work. Today, Control shifted from Republicans, two Democrats by the slimmest possible margin. First Vice President Harris swore in the new Democratic senators from Georgia who will give her party the numerical edge. And that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter. So help you God. Yeah. Congratulations to tell us more. We're joined now by NPR Congressional reporter Claudia Gristle aside there. Hi, Ari. Tell us more about what happened today. So the Senate finalized their transfer of power from a Republican led chambers has been the case since 2015 to 1 that is divided 50 50 and led by one Democrat as the tiebreaker. And that's Vice President Kamala Harris. Democrats 12 weeks ago. But finally today, these two new senators from Georgia, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff's who shifted control of the chamber were sworn in and this is ahead of some very heavy lifts ahead. The chambers. New Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in his floor in his former marks, said quote I need to catch my breath so much is happening. But he's already highlighted three big tasks ahead a Senate impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump confirming Biden's Cabinet nominees and taking up a $1.9 trillion biting proposal for new coronavirus coronavirus relief aid. Yeah, Those are three very big tasks. What are Republicans saying about the next steps? We saw Republican leaders extending all of branch today trying to bridge some of this dramatic divide the trump years brought with Democrats. For example, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged this transfer of power in his hopes to work with Biden. And this is the theme I heard from other Republicans today, they thought bite, instruct the right tone. In his inauguration speech, lifting these bipartisan hopes I talked to Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski, Let's take a listen. You can still disagree from a policy perspective and you can do so in ways that are still respectful and allow you to continue to work towards other goals. I also caught up with GOP Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who sounded a similar note. She said Biden struck those right themes of unity and a call for parties to stop viewing one another as adversaries, and she stands ready to advance their common goals. And West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin told Capitol Hill reporters today that a bipartisan group that includes workhouse game Collins would be meeting with Biden administration in the coming days. So again, this bipartisan theme was much of what I heard today from both sides. So how are they plan to tackle impeachment, massive legislation and confirming Biden's cabinet all at once? That will be a real test for whether members can talk into gum at the same time, as they like to say. Democrats are betting they can. One proposal that's being entertained is whether they can split their days between an impeachment trial and confirming these nominees. But first they need to reach a power sharing agreement with Republicans. Then they hope to tackle these big ticket items at warp speed in the coming days. NPR congressional reporter Claudia Greece, Alice Thank you. Thanks for having me.

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