Senate Democrats add Mark Warner to leadership team
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Senate Democratic leaders are promoting business friendly moderate Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerDemocrats worry Trump team will cherry-pick withheld documents during defense Commerce Department withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon pushback: reports  Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Bezos phone breach raises fears over Saudi hacking | Amazon seeks to halt Microsoft's work on 'war cloud' | Lawmakers unveil surveillance reform bill MORE of Virginia to their leadership team, where he will counterbalance rising liberal star Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenKlobuchar plans campaign rallies across Iowa despite impeachment trial Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Wyden asks NSA to investigate White House cybersecurity | Commerce withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon objects | Warren calls on Brazil to drop Greenwald charges Warren pledges to release Trump records if elected MORE (D-Mass.).

Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerVeronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats turn to obstruction charge Liberal super PAC to run digital ads slamming Trump over Medicare comments MORE (D-N.Y.), the third-ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership, announced Friday that Warner will serve as a policy development adviser to the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.

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Schumer has been advocating since the election for a colleague with close ties to centrists in the Democratic caucus to join the leadership team.

This puts one of Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum The Trumpification of the federal courts Trump to rally evangelicals after critical Christianity Today editorial MORE’s (D-Nev.) critics within his inner sanctum. Warner voted with five other Democratic centrists to oust Reid as Democratic leader during a private meeting following the election.

Warner joined Democratic Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineIran resolution supporters fear impeachment will put it on back burner House war powers sponsor expects to take up Senate version of resolution Sens. Kaine, Lee: 'We should not be at war with Iran unless Congress authorizes it' MORE (Va.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSchiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line Schiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Trump's trial a major test for McConnell, Schumer MORE (W.Va.), Heid Heitkamp (N.D.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillHow Citizens United altered America's political landscape #MidnightMoscowMitch trends amid criticism of McConnell's proposed impeachment trial rules The most expensive congressional races of the last decade MORE (Mo.) and Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuA decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth Congress needs to work to combat the poverty, abuse and neglect issues that children face Dems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ MORE (La.) in voting against Reid.

Warner said he will use his new seat at the leadership table to broker bipartisan compromises.

"I look forward to working with my colleagues to make the U.S. Senate a place where real work gets done to solve the challenges facing the American people,” he said. “Offering a constructive critic a seat at the leadership table is a positive step."

Warner, who has strong pro-business credentials, will serve as a counterweight to Warren, who has built an enthusiastic following among the party’s liberal base as a sharp critic of Wall Street. 

Schumer touted the move as one that would round out the Democratic leadership team. 

“Mark is a natural leader in our caucus who will bring a diverse experience of both private sector and public service work to this new role,” he said. “In the next Congress, Mark will work closely with the entire DPCC team to put forward policies and a message that resonate strongly with America’s middle class.”

Warner will help assure Democratic centrists such as Manchin and Heitkamp that their views are represented in leadership meetings.

Warner failed to impress Reid in the last Congress after forming an ad-hoc group known as the Gang of Six to craft a far-reaching deficit reduction package. Reid at the time downplayed Warner’s efforts as “happy talk.” 

“If someone has a proposal about reducing the deficit, the debt, here’s my suggestion: Put it in bill form, in writing, not all these happy statements about what people think can be done,” Reid told reporters three years ago. “I’m stunned by the Gang of Six that we hear so much about.

“My honest feeling is that I think we’re beyond gangs of five and gangs of six,” he said.

This post was updated at 5:39 p.m.