The victory of Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) gives Democrats a 51-49 majority in the Senate.
During the last Congress, when the Senate had a 50-50 tie broken by Harris, the chamber's committees were evenly split, sometimes forcing Democrats to use special maneuvers to bring nominations to the floor when such actions stalled in committee.
Now, Democrats can assume greater control of Senate committees, allowing them a freer hand in advancing Biden's picks, avoiding impasses on legislation and issuing subpoenas.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told NBC in November that a larger majority would allow the Biden administration to build on its "historic pace of judicial confirmations and ensure the federal bench better reflects the diversity of America."
The ratio on committees is not fixed under Senate rules. Rather, it results from negotiations between the majority and minority leaders. However, in recent 51-49 chambers, such as those from 2003 to 2005 and 2007 to 2009, the majority party typically held a one-seat advantage on committees, according to the Congressional Research Service, a public policy institute.
Democrats could use their majority on committees to continue the current House investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol or launch new ones, Axios reported. The House’s Jan. 6 committee is scheduled to end in January after releasing its final report.