One day before the Georgia runoff elections, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris spoke with Janelle Monae about the massive stakes of electing Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the United States Senate.
As Harris and Monae note during their 14-minute video chat, Democrats would effectively take control of the Senate if both candidates are elected, giving the party 50 votes (and Harris serving as a tiebreaker.)
Calling the election a “historic moment” for the country, Monae asks Harris to highlight how these Senate victories would prove crucial for advancing an agenda with President-elect Joe Biden.
“There are 100 members of the United States Senate. Right now, the Republicans have the majority,” Harris explains from Savannah, Georgia. “Whoever’s in the majority gets to basically make the rights around what we’re going to vote on versus what we’re not going to vote on. It has everything to do with what legislation will get passed and whose voices will be heard. … United States senators have so much power to determine how our country will move forward or not.”
Harris details some of the policy issues Democrats could address with a Senate majority.
“We’ll have the power to say, ‘Let’s put on the floor legislation that’s about addressing climate change and taking it seriously, including climate injustice and racial injustice as it relates to that issue,” she says. “We’ll have the power to say, ‘Let’s have a federal minimum wage that’s at least $15 an hour instead of $7.25 an hour. The power to say, ‘Let’s deal with the inequities in our education system, in our health care system, in our economy.’ All of this is at stake. Not to mention that Georgia has such a long history of trying to take away and deny people the right to vote.”
Monae urges fans to recognize the importance of the election: “We know that if Mitch McConnell and the Republicans run the Senate, they will put us in gridlock, and they will put us in paralysis and block everything that the Biden/Harris administration is trying to do. We cannot allow that. So we have to elect Ossoff and Warnock January 5th. I’m with you, Kamala.”