Kelly Loeffler will start next Congress session as Georgia senator despite runoff, here's why

Sen. Loeffler: ‘We have to hold China accountable’

Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., weighs in on ‘gravely serious’ report that China may detain Americans in response to Justice Department prosecution of Chinese scholars.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., will retain her seat for at least a few days when the 117th Congress begins on Jan. 3, even as she heads into the final stretch of what is expected to be a heated runoff election with Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock.

The Republican Party will begin the new Senate session with 51-48 majority following confirmed victories for Sen. Thom Tillis in North Carolina and Sen. Dan Sullivan in Alaska. Loeffler, who was appointed to complete the unexpired term of former Sen. Johnny Isakson, will keep her seat until a winner is declared in the Jan. 5 runoff vote, Fox News correspondent Chad Pergram reported.

Both of Georgia’s Senate seats are headed to runoff elections, with the outcome in each race expected to determine the balance of power in Congress’s upper chamber.

While Loeffler will retain her Senate seat until the runoff concludes, the term of Georgia’s other incumbent Sen. David Perdue expires at 11:59:59 a.m. ET on Jan. 3. His seat will remain vacant until the victor of his runoff race with Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff is determined.

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With victories in both races, the Democratic Party would achieve a 50-50 tie in the Senate. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would have the authority to serve as a tiebreaker on votes.

Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., were reelected by their peers as Senate party leaders this week. The outcome of Georgia’s races will decide which senator will serve as majority leader.

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