U.S. Senate

The 2020 elections ran well and were largely free from foreign interference, U.S. officials say.

That doesn't mean the story is over.

Improving elections practices is a "race without a finish line," as Pennsylvania's secretary of state told NPR in 2019, and big questions remain about what's to become of the fast maturing but still partly formed discipline of election security.

For the first time since President Trump lost his bid for reelection, Vice President Pence appeared on the campaign trail on Friday to boost Senate Republicans at a pair of rallies north of Atlanta.

Two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia remain to be decided in runoff races on Jan. 5. The outcome will dictate which party will run the upper chamber come next year.

And with Trump and Pence still declining to concede their loss, GOP has been left with a tricky argument in Georgia for a high-stakes Senate battle as they try to navigate the president's false claims.

Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan has won reelection in Alaska, giving Republicans 50 seats in the Senate and leaving the balance of power in the chamber to be decided in a pair of January runoff elections in Georgia.

The Associated Press called the race for Sullivan more than a week after Election Day after votes trickled in from remote areas of the vast state. Sullivan defeated Al Gross, a surgeon and first-time candidate who raised significant money with the help of national Democrats who hoped a blue wave could help flip the state and the Senate.

WKMS

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been reelected as the leader of Republicans in the U.S. Senate, though it’s still up in the air whether Republicans will retain their majority in the Senate during the next congress that convenes in 2021.

 

Control of the Senate may hinge on Georgia's two runoff races in January as no candidate in either contest has reached a required 50% threshold in votes to win outright.

That means Georgia, which is also still counting ballots in a neck-and-neck presidential race expected to go to a recount, is shaping up to be ground zero for whether Congress will be divided again next year.

Republicans hold the Senate 53-47. (There are two independents — Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont — but they caucus with Democrats and therefore should be counted that way in the math for Senate control.)

To flip the Senate, Democrats would need to net-gain four seats outright or three seats and control of the White House, because in a 50-50 Senate — which is possible this year — the vice president breaks the tie. Republicans can lose up to three seats and hold the majority, as long as President Trump wins reelection.

A trio of Silicon Valley's biggest names will be in the hot seat on Wednesday for a U.S. Senate hearing focused on a decades-old legal shield that is newly under fire.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter's Jack Dorsey and Google's Sundar Pichai are appearing virtually at 10 a.m. ET in front of the Republican-controlled Senate Commerce Committee to answer questions under oath about whether being insulated from lawsuits has enabled Big Tech's "bad behavior."

Rachel Collins / WKMS

Murray State University is just past five weeks into the fall semester, but university leadership is already looking to the spring semester and the budgetary challenges that lie ahead. 

Updated at noon ET

The U.S. Senate is holding a hearing Wednesday on the development of vaccines aimed at eradicating the coronavirus amid escalated political rhetoric regarding the potential effectiveness of a fast-tracked vaccine.

As President Trump has promised to expedite treatments against the virus that has killed nearly 190,000 Americans, he has appeared publicly rankled by critics who question his handling of the pandemic and those who are skeptical of the viability of a safe vaccine in such record time.

Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach lost the Senate GOP primary on Tuesday, delivering a victory of sorts for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's strategy to hold on to his majority this November.

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