“Now we take Georgia, then we change the world,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in front of a cheering crowd of New Yorkers in a clip that is being used by Republicans in both radio and television ads across Georgia. What exactly do Senator Schumer and his colleagues have in mind after taking the country if they win both seats in Georgia in the coming runoff elections on January 5th? Senate Democrats’ legislative proposals include higher taxes, the green new deal, relaxing voting requirements, relaxing the immigration system, socialized medicine, adding new states to the US which would send more Democratic Senators and representatives to Washington, free education, welfare for all through universal basic income, and that’s only a few.
If Democrats win in Georgia, it gives the party a narrow majority in the Senate, promotes Minority Leader Schumer to Majority Leader, and sets up a situation where massive pressure will be applied from the Democratic base to pass their priorities by any means, including eliminating the legislative filibuster. The filibuster’s constitutionality has been debated; still, one thing is for sure, the majority party in the Senate will have a much easier time passing their wish list of legislative priorities without the filibuster in place. As it stands now, moderate Senate Democrats have expressed skepticism about the wisdom of such a move. In an interview, Senator Manchin (D-WV) said he probably would not be open to changing the rule. But facing a demand to pass liberal legislation after four years of President Trump’s accomplishments, the calculation could change for Democrats like Manchin.
When on the campaign stump, Joe Biden called multiple times for eliminating the Trump tax cuts on day one. His campaign tax plan provided some exceptions while giving the illusion that middle-class taxes won’t be increased. Still, according to almost every non-partisan think tank, Biden’s plan to raise taxes on small businesses and corporations would shrink the economy and mean fewer jobs and inevitably higher taxes for the middle class. His tax plan would triple the number of families dealing with death tax, making it harder for family businesses, farms, and ranches to pass to the next generation of ownership. His plan would turn the tax code on its head for businesses of all sizes and workers of all incomes.
On the environment, Democrats have predictably gone past the point of legitimate protections for the country’s natural resources into an all-out blitz against climate change, the effects of which will reverberate in industries throughout the economy. In addition to coming likely executive actions to address climate change, a Democratic Senate led by Majority Leader Schumer that only needs 51 votes rather than 60 to proceed could eventually shut down or phase out large portions of America’s energy sectors. The United States, in a big way, thanks to natural gas and fracking, is now much more energy independent than it was just four short years ago. A Democratic Senate untethered from the filibuster could quickly reverse that trend.
A Democratic Senate could take dramatic action on immigration, education, and other issues affecting nearly every set of conservative values that many Americans hold. Concerning education, charter schools that have challenged the public education system’s norm will be shunned rather than promoted as they have been under the current education department. On immigration, Biden has publicly taken a much softer tone with respect to discouraging illegal immigration and enforcing immigration laws currently on the books. Senate Majority Leader McConnell has made confirming conservative judges a priority, and that trend would most assuredly be reversed if Democrats win both Senate seats in Georgia. A Democratic Senate could codify these priorities on education and immigration into law.
At AMAC Action, we are gearing up to push back against policies that would hurt our members and slow down the economy, which we feel still has excellent potential if most of President Trump’s economic policies are protected by a Republican Senate. In Georgia, the stakes couldn’t be higher. After the runoff elections on January 5th, our team will reevaluate what Congress’s makeup means for AMAC Action’s priorities and discuss how you can help us in our fight to restore the economy and preserve President Trump’s signature legislative accomplishments.
Alex Ayers is a member of AMAC Action’s team in Washington, DC.