While Joe Biden may have won the 2020 Presidential Election, the US Senate still hangs in the balance. With Democrats voting 46 and Republicans voting 50, control of the Senate is neck and neck. This is important for Biden because, without the Senate, he can not pass the bills he feels necessary to benefit America. With the impact 2020 has left us mentally and economically, the stakes are high and even Biden advisers called the Senate runoffs “ginormous”.
If Democrats win the Senate, Biden will be able to pass agenda such as COVID-19 relief and tax hikes on those making over $612,000 per year. These acts are an effort to end economic inequality. According to reporters Ben White and Aubree Weaver, other ways to fight this injustice include “distributing aid and overhauling the tax code, both of which require flipping the Senate to Democratic control”.
However, if Republicans gain majority vote in the Senate, many of Biden’s policies will be shut down. COVID-19 relief is unlikely to be passed and economic inequality will still linger. Taxation and spending, which is a key aspect of Biden’s administration, will be difficult to enact and Biden will take office with weights around his shoulders. “Without the Senate, Biden will have to try cutting deals with Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, perhaps including increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and making child tax credits more generous”, says White and Weaver.
Regardless of which party wins the Senate, Biden will still face inequality in the forms of wage gaps and wealth gaps worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to reporter Kim Parker, “over 56% of lower income workers had their business shut down by the virus, while only about 24% of higher income workers lost theirs”. With all of these aspects on the line, America is unsure how Wall Street will accept the election results. Will they sweep on hopes for a fiscal stimulus or will they tank on fear for higher taxes? Either way, both parties, especially Democrats, are encouraging their desired candidates to take the Senate and carry out their policies. In the words of the passionate and hopeful Chuck Schumer, “First we take Georgia, then we change America!”