As the nation watches the aftermath of the presidential election unfold, the other unfinished business is what happens in the United States Senate.
Based on the latest ballot tabulations, it looks like the Republicans are on track to keep the majority in the upper body of Congress, however, two more races in Alabama’s neighboring state could change that.
Georgia is set to have two highly contested run-off elections on January 5, 2021, to fill their seats in the United States Senate. The implications for the country are seismic in that if the Democrats win these two races, it would shift the power in the Senate to the Democrats and potentially give the party control of both chambers of Congress. The changes in policy and power would have a detrimental effect on Alabama, including putting the state’s two senators in the minority party next year.
What this also means for Alabama is that if Democrats take control of the Senate, Alabama Senator Richard Shelby could lose his chairmanship over the Senate Committee on Appropriations, which is one of the most powerful positions in Washington, D.C.
There is talk that Shelby could retire in two years and losing his chairmanship could guarantee that happens, which would have a huge impact on the federal dollars the senator brings to Alabama. Shelby has been one of the most influential senators in the state’s history, so the consequences of his losing his chairmanship and potential retirement are not understated.
Thus, what happens on January 5 will not only impact Georgia and the Senate but Alabama as well.
Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives