Anita Dunn says control of the Senate “hugely consequential” for Biden agenda

Washington — Anita Dunn, a senior adviser to President Biden, mentioned Sunday that Democrats’ victory in the battle for control of the Senate in the midterm elections is “hugely consequential” for the success of Mr. Biden’s agenda in his subsequent two years in office.

“He believes that at the end of the day, there are going to be things that Republicans and Democrats can work on together as they did over the last two years,” Dunn mentioned in an interview with “Face the Nation,” referring to the president. “Control of the Senate is hugely consequential both for judiciary nominations and appointments, the most diverse group of judicial nominations ever under the first two years of President Biden, but also for controlling the agenda in the U.S. Senate, and that means continued progress for the working families, middle class of this country.”

While Republicans are in position to win a majority of House seats with a handful of races nonetheless unresolved, their majority is prone to be slim. CBS News estimates Democrats maintain a minimal of 210 seats, whereas the GOP holds a minimum of 214, 4 seats quick of the 218 wanted for a majority. 

In the Senate, nevertheless, Democrats have been in a position to preserve their control of the higher chamber with Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s projected victory over Republican challenger Adam Laxalt. Her projected win provides Democrats 50 seats in the subsequent Congress, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting tie-breaking votes if wanted. Democrats may widen their majority if Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock defeats Republican Herschel Walker in subsequent month’s runoff election for the Senate in Georgia.

Confronting the doubtless chance of a divided Congress come January, Mr. Biden advised reporters Wednesday that he’s able to work with Republicans, and Dunn echoed that the White House believes Americans are not looking for partisan gridlock.

“He’s going to reach out his hand to work with the Republicans, and the question is whether they will reach out their hand to his,” she mentioned. “Given these narrow majorities, obviously the Senate, Democrats will control. The House is still up in the air. Voters in this country are going to expect their leaders to work together.”

But a Republican-led House can also be poised to launch quite a few investigations into the Biden administration, and GOP lawmakers have previewed probes focusing on Hunter Biden, Mr. Biden’s son, over his business dealings; Dr. Anthony Fauci, associated to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic; and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for his dealing with of border safety.

Dunn mentioned Republicans discussing these investigations and the potential impeachment of Mr. Biden or some of his Cabinet secretaries haven’t hidden the political motivations behind their efforts.

“The White House has and will continue to comply with fair and legitimate oversight because we are a White House that respects norms and the rule of law,” she mentioned. “But I think that the American people didn’t vote for Congress being used to conduct political vendettas over the next two years. They voted for working together to make progress on the issues they care about. The president is going to be focused on the priorities of the American people.”

Dunn continued: “We would hope that the Republicans who’ve just suffered a substantial defeat in terms of both their expectations and what historically midterm elections tend to do, would also listen to the American people, focus on the priorities of the American people.”

Lawmakers will return to Washington to renew their work this week, and Dunn mentioned “priority number one” for the Biden administration throughout the lame-duck session is passing a funding invoice to maintain federal businesses working. Congress authorized a stopgap measure in late September that maintained present funding ranges via Dec. 16.

Other priorities embody further help to assist Ukraine proceed to combat again in opposition to Russia’s aggression and emergency support to assist Florida and Puerto Rico rebuild after latest hurricanes, she added.

“It’s going to take a little while still for lame-duck priorities to really be set, given the uncertainty about the outcomes of the elections still,” Dunn mentioned. “Last Sunday, when you were sitting in your chair and you had guests on, I don’t think anybody would have predicted that we still would not know who would control the United States House of Representatives the following Sunday.”

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