Senate Democrats add Mark Warner to leadership team
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Senate Democratic leaders are promoting business friendly moderate Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerBiden meets with Jayapal to kick off week of pivotal meetings The root of Joe Biden's troubles Pressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks MORE of Virginia to their leadership team, where he will counterbalance rising liberal star Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenAmerica can end poverty among its elderly citizens Senate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Misguided recusal rules lock valuable leaders out of the Pentagon MORE (D-Mass.).

Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden's Supreme Court commission ends not with a bang but a whimper Hispanic organizations call for Latino climate justice in reconciliation Senate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act 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 ReidDemocrats brace for tough election year in Nevada The Memo: Biden's horizon is clouded by doubt Fight over Biden agenda looms large over Virginia governor's race 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 KaineSenate Democrats ditch Hyde amendment for first time in decades Fill the Eastern District of Virginia  Defense & National Security — Military starts giving guidance on COVID-19 vaccine refusals MORE (Va.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — Democrats address reports that clean energy program will be axed Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised Progressive coalition unveils ad to pressure Manchin on Biden spending plan MORE (W.Va.), Heid Heitkamp (N.D.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillEx-Rep. Akin dies at 74 Republicans may regret restricting reproductive rights Sunday shows preview: States deal with fallout of Ida; Texas abortion law takes effect MORE (Mo.) and Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuCassidy wins reelection in Louisiana Bottom line A decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth 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.