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Biden renews call for new COVID-19 legislation after Georgia elections

Biden renews call for new COVID-19 legislation after Georgia elections
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President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Scalise bringing Donna Brazile as guest to Biden inauguration Sidney Powell withdraws 'kraken' lawsuit in Georgia MORE on Wednesday renewed calls for new coronavirus relief legislation at the start of his administration following the Georgia Senate runoff races Tuesday.  

The president-elect faces the possibility of having unified Democratic control in Congress.

Biden has long called the recently-passed $900 billion relief measure a “down payment” on a future, broader package, but with Sen.-elect Raphael Warnock’s (D) victory in one Georgia Senate runoff and Democrat Jon Ossoff’s lead in a second, the president-elect indicated he will press hard for a new deal.

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“Georgia's voters delivered a resounding message yesterday: they want action on the crises we face and they want it right now. On COVID-19, on economic relief, on climate, on racial justice, on voting rights and so much more. They want us to move, but move together,” Biden said in a statement on the Georgia races.

“I have long said that the bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill passed in December was just a down payment. We need urgent action on what comes next, because the COVID-19 crisis hits red states and blue states alike.”

Should Ossoff clinch his race, in which he currently holds a roughly 17,000-vote lead over Republican incumbent David PerdueDavid PerdueWarnock, Ossoff to be sworn into Senate Wednesday afternoon Georgia secretary of state certifies Warnock, Ossoff victories in Senate runoffs Nikki Haley unveils PAC ahead of possible 2024 White House bid MORE, Democrats would hold a narrow 50-50 Senate majority. Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisScalise bringing Donna Brazile as guest to Biden inauguration McConnell, Schumer fail to cut power-sharing deal amid filibuster snag Howard University's marching band to escort Harris at inauguration MORE would be able to cast tie-breaking votes. The Democrats' possible narrow majority could ease Biden’s path to passing legislation and confirming administration officials. 

Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill were overjoyed by the news out of Georgia, boasting that a unified Democratic Congress would work with Biden to advance the White House agenda.

Beyond coronavirus relief, Democrats have also floated passing new legislation on voting rights and addressing the country’s health care system, among other priorities, with complete control of the executive and legislative branches. 

“Together, in under two weeks when we inaugurate the new Biden-Harris Administration, a unified Democratic Party will advance extraordinary progress For The People. We will pursue a science and values-based plan to crush the virus and deliver relief to struggling families, safeguard the right to quality affordable health care and launch a plan to Build Back Better powered by fair economic growth,” Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Memo: Trump leaves changed nation in his wake New York court worker arrested, accused of threats related to inauguration GOP Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene referred to Parkland school shooting as 'false flag' event on Facebook MORE (D-Calif.) said in a statement. 

“For too long, much-needed help has been stalled or diluted by a Republican-led Senate and President TrumpDonald TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports MORE. That will change with a Democratic Senate, Democratic House, and a Democratic President,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerNew York court worker arrested, accused of threats related to inauguration Schumer: Trump should not be eligible to run for office again McConnnell, McCarthy accept Biden invitation to pre-inauguration church service MORE (D-N.Y.), who would be majority leader with Democratic control.