Democrats to take working control of U.S. Senate Wednesday when three sworn in
By Susan Cornwell
(Reuters) - Three new Democratic U.S. Senators, including the winners of two races in Georgia and the successor to elected Vice President Kamala Harris, are due to be sworn in on Wednesday, a party's planning source said with a functioning majority in the chamber.
Georgia's Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, and Californian Alex Padilla, should be sworn in once the Senate meets again following the inauguration of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden and Harris.
The additions will split the Chamber, currently controlled by Republicans, 50:50, with Harris holding the tie.
Georgia officials confirmed the results of the January 5 runoff election on Tuesday, the Georgian Foreign Secretary said earlier, confirming that Warnock and Ossoff had defeated Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.
The statewide results "are a real and accurate listing of the certified returns this office has received from each county," the Georgia secretary said in a statement.
The Georgia runoff, required by state law after none of the candidates received at least 50% of the vote in the Nov. 3 election, added post-election uncertainty as they would determine which party controlled the chamber.
Harris resigned from the Senate on Monday. Governor Gavin Newsom selected Padilla, California Secretary of State since 2015, to fill the remainder of Harris' tenure.
Democrat Chuck Schumer is expected to become majority leader in the Senate under the new deal, with Mitch McConnell, the current leader, being demoted to Republican leader.
However, the 50:50 split means that the two parties may need to work more cooperatively than they have in recent years to avoid a legal deadlock. Democrats also have a majority of 221-211 in the House of Representatives, with three vacant seats.
(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; additional reporting by Susan Heavey and Richard Cowan; editing by Scott Malone and Grant McCool)
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