Elected President Joe Biden threw his weight in the Democratic battle for control of the US Senate on Tuesday, as his White House victory was finally recognized by the best Republicans and foreign leaders.
Biden flew into Georgia – a southern state he won in an uprising against President Donald Trump – to host a demonstration for two Democratic candidates in runoff that will determine the Senate’s balance of power.
“Honk for your next US senators Jon Ossoff and Pastor Raphael Warnock,” Biden told the audience at the inaugural event in Atlanta – urging voters to take effect on January 5.
“Send me these two men, and we’ll check the Senate!”
One day after the Electoral College confirmed Biden’s victory, attention shifted to the looming Senate battle – and to the incoming administration’s form, as Biden also announced that he had nominated Pete Buttigieg, a former Indiana mayor and president, as secretary of transportation. .
Buttigieg would be the first openly gay person the Senate confirmed to a presidential cabinet – in sync with Biden’s commitment to launch the most diverse cabinet ever when he takes office on January 20.
And while Trump still refuses to admit – continues to tweet baseless allegations of mass fraud that have been denied in dozens of trials – Senate Republican Mitch McConnell finally broke his silence with a message to the president: it’s over.
“The Electoral College has spoken. So today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden,” McConnell said on the Senate floor, adding that Americans can also “be proud” that they will have their first female vice president in Kamala Harris.
Biden told reporters before flying to Georgia that he had a “good” phone call with McConnell, a longtime Senate colleague.
“I told him that even though we disagree on many things, there are things we can work on together,” Biden said.
The election academy’s confirmation triggered an acknowledgment of Biden’s victory by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said he was “ready for cooperation” with the Democrat.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador – who had both waited until now to recognize the president-elect – also sent their congratulations.
‘Turn the page’
Trump, unsurpassed, has yet to acknowledge his defeat in the chaotic election that forced him to leave the White House after a single four-year term.
But Biden called on the divided country to “turn the page” when he welcomed the vote at Electoral College on Monday, saying US democracy proved “resilient” to Trump’s “abuse of power.”
He praised voters for voting in record numbers despite fears of Covid-19 and “enormous political pressure, verbal abuse and even threats of physical violence.”
The White House transition occurs sharply with the coronavirus pandemic, putting US Covid-19 deaths above 300,000.
While critical winter months await, a bright spot has emerged with healthcare professionals receiving the first doses of the coronavirus vaccine distributed in the country.
And with the best infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci recommending Biden and Harris to take the vaccine quickly, the president-elect said they would get the shot publicly.
Minds on Georgia
Although the door has almost closed for his efforts to turn the vote around, Trump has been defiant and insisted in a series of tweets that he won a “landslide victory” and that there were still “huge problems” with the vote.
In a threatening move against Republican leaders in Georgia, where he has made baseless allegations of massive voting fraud, he tweeted a pro-Trump lawyer who posted a picture of Georgia’s governor and foreign minister, saying they would soon be imprisoned. “
Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, must turn over both Georgia Senate seats to take control of the upper house, while Republicans must have only one to retain their majority.
Republicans have designed Georgia as a must-win race, with the state being the last line of defense against what they describe as radical “socialism.”
If the Republicans do, McConnell will remain the majority leader, and his relationship with Biden will quickly become the most watched in Washington.
The couple was known for meeting business during times of crisis when Biden was Barack Obama’s vice president.
But McConnell did not give Obama a block, repeatedly on legal nominations and forced the president to limit his legislative agenda.