What Georgia’s Senate Results Mean for Biden’s Foreign Policy
As Congress hangs in the balance, Obama’s national security advisor explains how a president can deal with a less than cooperative legislature.
On Jan. 5, voting concluded in a runoff election for the U.S. state of Georgia’s two Senate seats. These ballots will decide not just who represents Georgia in Congress’s upper house but which party controls the Senate as a whole: If both Democratic candidates win, as seems increasingly likely, their party will hold 50 seats—enough, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote, to run things there. But only barely; given the razor-thin margin, both progressives and a few center-right senators (Joe Manchin, Suzanne Collins, and Mitt Romney) could hold the institution hostage and complicate President-elect Joe Biden’s plans. On Tuesday evening, with the Georgia results still uncertain, Foreign Policy’s editor-at-large Jonathan Tepperman spoke to Tom Donilon, who served as former President Barack Obama’s national security advisor from 2010 to 2013—another period when Democrats lacked congressional control—about how the incoming president can navigate the challenge and find ways to push through his agenda without legislative support. The following conversation has been edited for clarity and length.
Jonathan Tepperman is a former editor in chief of Foreign Policy and the author of The Fix: How Countries Use Crises to Solve the World’s Worst Problems. Twitter: @j_tepperman
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