Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) says Democrats’ slim majority in the House, and possibly a 50-50 split in the Senate, will give progressive lawmakers more leverage to force President-elect Joe Biden to make concessions to them on policies.
Omar re-tweeted a user who shared an article that said Biden was “unlikely” to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt with an executive order.
The user said, “‘We’ll be able to push Biden left!!’ yeah ok…”
However, Omar commented, “Yes we can, with a slim Dem majority in the next Congress, anything can be possible.”
“It will literally take five courageous progressives members to get concessions on progressive policies,” she added.
Yes we can, with a slim Dem majority in the next Congress, anything can be possible. It will literally take five courageous progressives members to get concessions on progressive policies. https://t.co/ynTyKKQRD8
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 24, 2020
Progressives have reportedly been frustrated by Biden’s picks to lead his cabinet agencies and what they see as a lack of representation of their ideology among his nominees.
They have also been pushing for Biden to issue an executive order that would cancel student loan debt. While the president-elect has appeared receptive to the idea of eliminating student debt, his aides say he believes Congress would need to pass legislation to do that.
After Democrats saw disappointing losses in Congressional races around the country, they are posed to hold their smallest majority since World War II.
Democrats have so far secured 222 seats in the House, with two elections yet to be called where Republicans are leading. If those numbers hold, Democrats would have a four-seat majority.
That means that in a close vote, the “Squad” — and other progressive lawmakers — could be the difference between a bill advancing or failing in a floor voting, potentially giving them a chance to influence legislation.
The balance of power in the Senate is yet to be decided by Georgia’s two runoff elections for the state’s Senate seats.
If Democrats win both of those elections, there will be a 50-50 split giving the party nominal control of the chamber, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris being able to cast a tie-breaking vote.
However, if Republicans hold onto one seat, they will maintain control of the chamber and could block any progressive legislation that passed the House.
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