The panel will still have only 10 members despite Democrats winning two seats in the 2012 elections. Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) is retiring from the Senate.
Murphy served on the House Foreign Affairs panel on the Middle East and South Asia during his six years in the House.
The top spot on the committee might also come open if Sen. John KerryJohn KerryFormer Obama officials say Netanyahu turned down secret peace deal: AP How dealmaker Trump can resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict John Kerry to teach at Yale on global issues MORE (D-Mass.) gets the nod to replace Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonFEC commissioner: 'I will not be silenced' Republicans at risk in 2018 steering clear of town halls Liberal ‘lies’ about President Trump MORE as secretary of State. That would leave Sen. Robert MenendezRobert MenendezSteve Mnuchin, foreclosure king, now runs your US Treasury Senate Dems move to nix Trump's deportation order Senators to Trump: We support additional Iran sanctions MORE (D-N.J.) as next in line to take over because the only more senior Democrat, Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerCarly Fiorina 'certainly looking at' Virginia Senate run Top Obama adviser signs with Hollywood talent agency: report Democrats vie for chance to take on Trump as California governor MORE (D-Calif.), is set to retain her chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.