Politics played a powerful role in Senate Democrats' committee assignments, announced on Wednesday, with many of the senators-elect who survived tough races given plum spots in powerful committees as a reward.

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetEagles player sits out national anthem Trump administration denied it has ‘secret’ committee seeking negative information on marijuana: report Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens MORE (D-Colo.), who agreed to take on the job of Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) chairman during a cycle that looks less than favorable for Democrats, was rewarded for his trouble with a position on the Finance Committee, something he had expressed interest in before making his decision on the DSCC chairmanship.


Bennet will give up his spots on the Banking and Aging committees to make time for his new responsibilities on the Finance Committee and as DSCC chairman, which will require him to travel the nation recruiting candidates and raising millions to protect the Democratic majority in the Senate. 

That task looks as daunting as it did two years ago, with 20 Democrats up for reelection — many in states Mitt Romney won this year — and only 13 Republican seats up in 2014.

But Democrats managed to expand their majority under outgoing DSCC Chairwoman Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care: House passes funding bill | Congress gets deal on opioids package | 80K people died in US from flu last winter Wilkie vows no 'inappropriate influence' at VA Dems push back on using federal funds to arm teachers MORE's (D-Wash.) watch and, following her efforts, she's been named chairwoman of the Budget Committee.

Other senators were rewarded for their campaign battles, including Sen.-elect Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDNA is irrelevant — Elizabeth Warren is simply not Cherokee The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump seizes on immigrant 'caravan' for midterms | WHCA criticizes Trump for praising lawmaker who assaulted reporter | Trump takes harder line on Saudis Clinton aide: Chances 'highly unlikely' but 'not zero' Hillary will run for president again MORE (D-Mass.), who defeated Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in one of the nation's most prominent and pricy races.

Warren was the chief architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which was created by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, and has long been a critic of Wall Street and big banks. She was given a seat on the Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over Wall Street regulation and oversight.

She'll also serve on the Aging and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committees.

Sen.-elect Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampDemocrats slide in battle for Senate Overnight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma —Senate debates highlight fight over pre-existing conditions | Support grows for Utah Medicaid expansion measure | Arkansas health official defends work requirements Election Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue MORE (D-N.D.) was also given a spot on the Banking Committee, as well as the Agriculture, Small Business, Indian Affairs and Homeland Security and Government Affairs committees. She managed to pull out a surprise win against Rep. Rick Berg (R) on Election Night, despite Romney's sweep of the state by about 20 percentage points.

Farming is one of North Dakota's main economic drivers, and she pledged during her campaign to nab a seat on the Agriculture Committee, which oversees the creation and implementation of the farm bill.

And Sen.-elect Angus KingAngus Stanley KingCollusion judgment looms for key Senate panel People have forgotten 'facade' of independent politicians, says GOP strategist Senate poised to confirm Kavanaugh after bitter fight MORE, an independent from Maine, was rewarded for choosing to caucus with Democrats with seats on the powerful Budget, Armed Services, Rules and Intelligence committees.