Democratic senators now represent about 41 million more people than Republican senators do.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell claimed on Thursday that Democrats lack a "mandate" to enact the policies they ran on — despite winning control of the House, Senate, and White House.
"Even as voters choose President Biden for the White House, they simultaneously shrunk Democrats' House majority and elected this evenly divided Senate. The 2020 election was far from the sweeping mandate for ideological transformation, as any election we've seen in modern history," McConnell (R-KY) told colleagues.
"The American people stunned the so-called experts with the number of Republicans they sent to the House and to the Senate, to make sure commonsense conservative values have a powerful say in the government," he continued, promising that when Democrats "depart from common sense" and "retreat from common ground," Republicans would do everything possible obstruct them.
Despite losing his majority on Wednesday, McConnell is already threatening to block an agreement to organize the new Senate, demanding that Democrats agree to preserve his party's right to block nearly all legislation.
President Joe Biden won in November by more than 7 million votes — winning the Electoral College by a 306-232 margin.
Voters gave House Democrats at least a 222-213 majority — one New York race has not been called yet — despite heavily gerrymandered district maps that were more often than not designed to favor Republicans. While this is closer than the last Congress, it still indicates that most voters picked a Democrat to be their representative.
Voters also gave Democrats 50 Senate seats and the vice presidency, and thus majority control of the Senate. While this margin is also narrow, a review of 2019 U.S. Census data indicates that Democrats in the Senate represent more than 201 million people, while Republicans represent about 160 million people.
So while the Senate seats might be evenly divided, the number of people who voted for them is not. Only because Wyoming's 578,759 people get the same number of Senate seats as California's 39,512,223 people is the chamber even close.
As Senate majority leader in the last Congress, McConnell blocked hundreds of popular progressive bills from even coming up for a vote, including protections for LGBTQ Americans, workers, Dreamers, women, voters of color, consumers, and the planet.
McConnell said that if voters gave him another majority after the 2020 elections, he would be the "Grim Reaper" and kill all progressive legislation again. They did not.
Now that the voters have relegated McConnell to the minority, he is still demanding the ability to keep doing the same thing — despite having no popular mandate to do so.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.