Schumer takes victory lap after Georgia win gives Democrats expanded Senate majority


Chuck Schumer, Gary Peters
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., joined by Sen. Gary Peters., D-Mich., chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, signals “51” as he speaks with reporters in Washington on Dec. 7, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Schumer takes victory lap after Georgia win gives Democrats expanded Senate majority

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is taking a victory lap on Capitol Hill Wednesday after Sen. Raphael Warnock’s runoff win in Georgia gave the Democrats a 51-49 majority, a gain from the current 50-50 split.

“This is the first time since 1934 where every Democratic incumbent won, being the party in power,” Schumer said during a press conference, almost giddy. “They say all good things come to those who wait. And this outcome is absolutely worth the wait. After one year, 10 months, and 17 days of the longest 50-50 Senate in history, we have 51, a slim majority. That is great, and we are so happy about it,” he said in a press conference.

Warnock’s win caps off an unexpectedly strong midterm performance for Democrats overall. Speaking alongside Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), the chairman of the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm, Schumer said the Democrats’ history-defying wins can be traced back to a number of factors, one being “great candidates.”


He said the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade propelled Democratic candidates by helping to underscore how conservative some GOP policies were after some Republicans pushed for a nationwide ban on abortion. Additionally, the Senate majority leader said he believes the Jan. 6 hearings in the House of Representatives may have driven voter turnout.

“People didn’t just read about something that happened once, but every night, they saw these hooligans, these insurrectionists being violent, beating up police officers,” he said.

Discussing the broader results, Schumer credited the wins to voters rejecting Republicans who aligned themselves with former President Donald Trump and his broader “Make America Great Again” coalition.

Schumer said the midterm elections made him more of a believer in the power of legislative achievements.

“A turning point really occurred this summer when we had six major bills, five bipartisan — all of which affected people’s lives, they were what people wanted.”

Warnock’s win is a major boost for Schumer and the Democratic conference, giving the party majority status instead of the limited power-sharing agreement currently in place, in which Vice President Kamala Harris is often needed to cast a tiebreaking vote. Democrats will also be able to hold majorities on committees, making the process of moving legislation and appointments to a floor vote much easier. One more seat also eliminates the power of any single centrist Democrat to hold up votes that require a simple majority.

Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are great members of our caucus. They’re very valuable. They don’t always agree with us on certain issues, but they are tremendous contributors to our caucus, and we’ll continue to work with them,” Schumer said, refusing to speculate on how one more Senate seat could shift the power dynamic.


The senior New York senator also acknowledged it may be difficult to get things accomplished with a divided Congress, but he promised to try to find common ground with “non-MAGA Republicans.”

“One of the things I hope to do as leader, even in this political climate, is to reach out to Republicans. There are a good number of Republicans in the Senate and House that are not MAGA Republicans,” he said. “It is my intention to reach out and work in a bipartisan way.”

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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