Tomorrow is it. The end of voting. Up for grabs: the White House, and also the Senate. Republicans currently hold the Senate with a 53-47 majority. But with 35 seats on the ballot, the race is heating up.
On today’s show, we took a look at some of the close races, and why the balance of power in the chamber will determine the direction of governance for the next four years.
Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat, doesn’t have to run for re-election this year. So, he’s been actively fundraising for Democrats.
“If you want to sort of come up with a reason why it’s so important to get a Democratic Senate and Joe Biden in the White House, it’s because we will much more expeditiously pass anti-coronavirus legislation if Joe Biden has a partner to work with in the Senate,” Sen. Murphy said. “Rather than having to fight against Mitch McConnell on health care legislation.”
We spoke with Murphy on Friday night. We also requested interviews with 12 Republican senators – all in committee leadership positions, including the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. They all either declined or didn’t respond to our requests.
McConnell, however, has been speaking on other outlets — including Fox News — about what he thinks is at stake for the Senate.
“They will get rid of the filibuster in the Senate, thereby eliminating the potential for any serious opposition. They’ll admit the District of Columbia as a state. And Puerto Rico as a state, giving them four new Democratic senators in perpetuity,” Sen. McConnell told Fox in September. “They’ll pack the Supreme Court, the circuit courts and the district courts — and then they’ll turn to the economy and over-regulate and over-tax like they always do, and America won’t look two years later like it does today.”
As for Democrats, Murphy says take McConnell at his word. He says the GOP would stop any efforts by a Biden administration, should the former vice president win the White House.
“Mitch McConnell will stand in the way of everything. Every single one of his cabinet members, his climate agenda, his democracy agenda, his health care agenda,” Murphy said. “Joe Biden simply can’t actually activate the mandate that he’ll be given without a Democratic Senate.”
This article was originally published on WBUR.org.