Schumer Says He Will Be Senate Majority Leader

( On Wednesday, Senate Democrat Charles Schumer declared that he is the new majority leader in the Senate. He has made the claim based on reports that both Democrats in the Georgia Senate runoff elections defeated their Republican counterparts.

The problem with this declaration is that the race between Republican incumbent David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff hasn’t been officially called. Ossoff would need to be victorious in that race to force a 50-50 tie in the Senate, which would effective give Democrats control since tiebreaking votes go to the vice president.

In a statement release Wednesday, Schumer said:

“It feels like a brand new day. For the first time in six years, Democrats will operate a majority in the United States Senate — and that will be very good for the American people.”

Schumer was anticipating that Democrats would control both the House and Senate as well as the White House. In doing so, he said that Americans can expect Democrats to pass another significant economic relief package soon. He promised that “help is on the way.”

As he said:

“America is experiencing one of the greatest crises we have ever faced, and the Senate Democratic Majority is committed to delivering the bold change and help Americans need and demand. Senate Democrats know America is hurting.”

He continued by thanking “everyone in Georgia and across the country who volunteered their time, donated what they could and worked so hard to elect new leadership in Washington.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also claimed victory in Georgia prematurely. She said in a statement:

“Now, because of the courageous leadership of Georgians, America will have a Democratic Senate working hand-in-hand with our Democratic House majority and President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

“We will pursue a science and values-based plan to crush the virus and deliver relief to struggling families, safeguard the right to quality affordable health care and launch a plan to Build Back Better powered by fair economic growth.”

The Ossoff-Perdue race is far from over, though. While it seems as though Democrat Raphael Warnock did indeed defeat Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler, the other race still hangs in the balance.

The secretary of state in Georgia, Republican Brad Raffensperger, actually has two more weeks to certify the results of the election. His deadline to do so is January 22, but he can also certify it any time before then.

The victors of the elections won’t be sworn into their new roles until after the results are certified.

It’s very possible that a re-count will be requested by at least one, if not both, of the candidates who are declared the loser of the runoffs. Georgia law states candidates can request a recount within two days of the results being certified, as long as the margin of victory is 0.5% or less.

Most media outlets, however, reported that both Ossoff (0.8% margin) and Warnock (1.6% margin) won by a larger margin than that. Still, the candidates could request a recount anyway, saying there are issues or discrepancies with the vote count.