Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says It’s ‘A New Day’ After Georgia Election Results
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of New York’s 14th district, is having a very good morning. The congresswoman best known for her progressive platform, her no-nonsense approach to establishment politics, and her flawless red lipstick, is celebrating the results of last night’s Georgia run-off election, which brought Democrats closer to control of the Senate. On Twitter, Ocasio-Cortez declared it “a new day.”
If you feel like it’s been election night for about five years, you’re not alone. The 2020 general election was held on Tuesday, November 3rd, with Democratic nominee Joe Biden winning the presidency, but with Georgia’s senatorial race uncalled, control of the Senate remained uncertain. Most states determine a winner via a plurality system, meaning that the candidate with the most votes wins, but per Ballotpedia, Georgia and Louisiana are the only two states which require a candidate to win not only more votes than other candidates, but a majority (more than 50 percent) of the total votes.
AOC, The Squad, and many other Democrats, most notably Stacey Abrams, have devoted monumental effort towards securing wins in Georgia for Democratic candidates Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. Ocasio-Cortez herself is responsible for raising upwards of $600,000 in contributions (via Politico). There isn’t necessarily a perfect alignment between more progressive members of the Democratic party and the Georgia candidates (neither has voiced support for Medicare for All, for example). However, Jeff Weaver, advisor to Bernie Sanders, explained, “If we’re going to see any progress on Joe Biden’s pro-worker economic proposals, we need to have a Democratic Senate,” (via The Hill).
AOC is looking forward to a Democratic Senate
As of writing, Raphael Warnock has been elected to the Senate, while Jon Osoff is leading Senator David Perdue, but the race remains uncalled, per The New York Times. Even with two nail-biting victories in Georgia, the Senate would be essentially split, but in cases where the vote is tied, the decision would be made by Democratic Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, giving Democrats hope for their legislative efforts.
As Newsweek reported in December 2019, there were more than 300 bills, the majority of which had bipartisan support, that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted to having no intention of bringing to a vote. Over the past year, the number of bills has only grown and includes COVID-19 relief packages that would provide eviction protections, funding for small businesses, and most notably $2,000 survival payments (via NPR).
With a Senate majority for Democrats, the way would be clear for the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the White House to work together under a new administration. In Wednesday’s celebration tweet, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez asked her followers, “Who’s ready to PUSH?” followed by a list of policy goals including retroactive COVID-19 relief, student loan cancellation, healthcare, and climate justice. If last night’s election is proof of anything, it’s that grassroots organizing and voter engagement can make a huge impact on the course of the country, and AOC is ready to get to work.
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