Continuing the Momentum in the Georgia Runoff Elections

Judy Beard

November 17, 2020

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(This article first appeared in the November/December 2020 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

Members of the American Postal Workers Union understood what was at stake this election. Amid attacks on the Postal Service, active voter suppression and a pandemic, we voted to defend our public Postal Service and our union jobs – but these were not the only issues on some of our minds when we voted. Many of us voted for a solution to the ongoing pandemic, expanded health care, action on climate change, justice for all regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, and religion. Together, we elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next President and Vice President of the United States of America.

Though we celebrate this victory, our fight is far from over. We must maintain our momentum and turn our efforts towards Georgia. There, not one but two consequential Senate races are still underway. Since no candidate in either race was able to earn more than a 50 percent majority of votes in the November election, special runoff elections on January 5 will now decide the winner. One race is between the incumbent David Perdue (R) and challenger Jon Ossoff (D). The other is between the incumbent Kelly Loeffler (R) and challenger Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock (D).

These races do not just affect Georgia. They are important for the entire country. Under Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the current Senate Majority Leader, Congress refused to support the Postal Service, protect our union jobs, and pass a COVID-19 relief bill that this country deserves. If Mitch McConnell keeps his leadership role in the Senate, there will be no movement on the issues that are important to postal workers and our families. That is why we must do everything in our power to elect new senators in the Georgia runoffs. With two new senators and the incoming Biden administration, it is our best shot of securing real support for the Postal Service and working people.

Important dates are fast approaching in Georgia. The deadline to register to vote in the Georgia runoffs is December 7. Early voting starts on December 14. We have placed those details on and identified ways you can help out. If you are a Georgia resident voting in the runoff elections, you can also find resources to register to vote, check your registration status, and request a mail-in ballot.

Continuing Continuing Our Work in the “Lame-Duck” Session

While ballots were still being certified, Congress began its “lame-duck” session, the final session in which departing congressmembers and President Trump may officially influence policy. The session started the week of November 9 and lasts until January 3. After that, newly elected congressmembers will be sworn in, beginning a new Congress and President-Elect Joe Biden will be sworn in on January 20. However, before that can happen, two key policy areas will likely be addressed in the lame-duck: First, there is a looming funding deadline. Government funding will run out on December 11, 2020. If a new measure is not passed through either a Continuing Resolution (CR) or a full appropriations bill, the government will shut down.

Second, Congress will resume talks on the next COVID- 19 relief package. While the House passed a stimulus bill back in May – and again in October – the Senate and the House must pass an identical bill before a bill can be signed into law. During this lame-duck session, we will continue to fight tooth and nail to ensure that any stimulus bill includes postal funding.

While we carry out our legislative agenda, I hope every member makes time to care for one’s self, your family and the people dearest to you.

Enjoy the holiday season.

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