As president, Joe Biden will have a stronger hand to pursue his legislative agenda now that Democratic victories in both Georgia runoff contests will put the party in control of the Senate. With committees chaired by Democrats and the agenda set by party cohorts, we expect the administration to advance well‑telegraphed efforts to expand fiscal stimulus and partially restore higher corporate tax rates, among other measures.
The administration's top priorities have not changed since the Georgia Senate wins. Above all, the Biden team will be tasked with bringing the coronavirus pandemic under control, stabilizing the economy, and setting the stage for recovery.
Biden will need to walk a tight legislative rope. The Democrats' majority in both chambers of Congress will be thin, requiring intraparty cohesion and a tie‑breaking vote from Kamala Harris, the incoming vice president, to achieve a simple majority in the Senate. The administration may find itself bargaining with members of its own party, a dynamic that is likely to shift power toward centrists in the Senate and progressives in the House of Representatives.
At some point, too, congressional Republicans could resurrect deficit reduction as a tool to obstruct spending legislation. The intense partisan divisions in Washington could create periods of political and market volatility.
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