Lawmakers have returned to Congress to finish their vote in certifying the election results after a violent mob stormed the Capitol building leaving one person dead.
This happened around the same time the Georgia Senate race was officially called for Democrat Jon Ossoff, and along with Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock, who was declared winner last night, Democrats have won both Georgia Senate seats.
We cover the protests at the Capitol and the evening vote in live updates below. We have also covered the Georgia Senate results and what the means for the $2,000 stimulus check, another stimulus package, and EIDL grants. We also include today's daily video update below as well.
Pro-Trump Protestors Storm US Capitol
3:26 PM EST, January 8th: Pressure is building in the House to impeach Trump if he does not resign. Meanwhile, the FBI is working to identify and arrest the rioters through images taken during the insurrection. A DC police officer named Brian Sicknick has died after being hit with a fire extinguisher during the riots, which has fueled lawmakers' desire to impeach.
5:32 PM EST: Nancy Pelosi has stated that Congress is "may be prepared to move forward with Impeachment," if Vice President Mike Pence does not immediately invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office. Members of the administration are distancing themselves from the president, including Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao who announced her resignation.
1:15 PM EST: Members of both parties are now publicly calling for invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office after yesterday's insurrection attempt, including Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois (a Republican).
4:00am EST: The final certification count has completed, confirming Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris as the next President and Vice President.
12:18am EST: The final certification count, in alphabetical order, made it to Pennsylvania. There was an objection, so both chambers will now spend a couple hours deliberating and voting on that objection. The vote will certainly continue all night.
12:08am EST: The final certification vote is ongoing... About half way through.
10:20 pm EST: The vote certification continues. The Senate voted to reject a challenge to Arizona's electoral college votes 93 to 6.
9:00pm EST: Charles Kushner, the father of President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, admitted in an email to a close confidante on Wednesday that the president’s behavior was “beyond our control.”
8:45pm EST: So far, the Republicans who were going to object to the certification have changed their stance and will now support the vote.
8:10pm EST: McConnell and Schumer are speaking now on the floor of the Senate as the vote to certify election results resumes.
7:52pm EST: Lawmakers return to Capitol to complete the vote to certify the election results.
7:00pm EST: Senator Mitt Romney of Utah made a statement holding Trump accountable for the riots, stating, "What happened here today was an insurrection, incited by the president of the United States." Mitt Romney was the sole Republican who voted to convict Trump on Articles of Impeachment last year.
6:58pm EST: The Senate and the House will resume the vote certification tonight.
6:40pm EST: A woman who was shot at the Capitol has died. No information has been released about her yet, but she was deemed a "civilian".
6:20pm EST: The Capitol is deemed secure and everyone has been evacuated. F.B.I. mobilizes agents to the US Capitol; police in Washington seize 5 guns and arrest at least 13 during violent Capitol protest.
5:50 PM EST: Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota has announced that she is drafting Articles of Impeachment against Trump in response to the riots. "It is a matter of preserving our Republic," she Tweeted.
Just before Ossoff's win was declared official, pro-Trump protestors stormed the US Capitol building, putting a stop to the vote certification process that was underway in the Senate.
Thousands of protestors had gathered to protest the election results. Protestors breached the capitol security and policy and entered the chamber where chaos has ensued.
Both the House and Senate chambers have been locked and officials ordered to take cover. The National Guard will be deployed and Washington DC will go under mandatory curfew at 6 P.M. Eastern. The metro will be closed down.
📌 This is a developing story we will be updating this post in real-time as the situation develops. See updates at the top of this section.
Democrat-control means more stimulus is very likely
As a result of Democrats now controlling Senate, there are major implications when it comes to stimulus relief related to the pandemic, including help for individuals, businesses, and governments.
$2,000 Stimulus Checks
The most significant aspect is that $2,000 stimulus checks to individuals will likely be passed now.
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed an amendment to the recent $900 billion stimulus relief package to increase the direct stimulus payment size from $600 to $2,000. This was after President Trump said he wouldn't sign the new bill into law unless stimulus checks were increased to $2,000.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican, has rejected a vote on the $2,000 stimulus payment increase, however, now that Democrats control the Senate they will have enough votes to pass the amendment. Biden has said he supports this as well and would sign it into law.
📌 If the $2,000 direct payment does pass, what does this mean for me? It means you may be eligible for the full $2,000 depending on how you filed 2019 taxes. You can check current stimulus progress on the Skip app (based on self-reporting) and calculate how much you get. We will update the app to reflect the $2,000 amount if and when the amendment is passed.
Additional Pandemic Relief Package
There is a high likelihood Democrats will also want to push through more economic relief related to the pandemic, especially when it comes to relief for state and local governments, healthcare and vaccine funding, and unemployment.
In May 2020, the House of Representatives passed the $2.2 trillion Hereos Act, which was meant to be additional relief to the Cares Act (passed in March 2020).
However, the Republican-controlled Senate rejected the spending amount, and months of stop and start negotiations ensued. Finally, the latest bill was agreed upon just before Christmas by both chambers and signed into law by the President on December 27.
This compromise has been viewed as "part 1" by Democrats. Speaker Pelosi has said this and so has President-elect Biden. It is almost certain they will draft a new bill soon that includes more funding.
Since there is new small-business funding (both PPP and EIDL) in the new bill, it is unlikely this will be in a new bill, but we'll have to wait and see.
📌 How can you get additional small business funding? New EIDL grant and loan and PPP forgivable loan funding will be available soon. You can stay up to date on our EIDL tracker on the Skip app.
Final Thoughts: Georgia Senate Runoff Results
Today's Georgia Senate runoff was the most anticipated Senate race in history and had major implications for both Democrats and Republicans. The Democratic sweep will have major implications on spending and the ability for Democrats to pass measures without the same "check" they've had with the split House and Senate. As more information comes in, we'll be sharing it on the Skip blog and on the Skip app. We'll also be covering this on our YouTube channel tomorrow as well.