Senate GOP readies for leadership reshuffle

Senate Republicans are preparing for a shuffling of committee chairmen and some changes in the upper ranks of Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown Mellman: Voting rights or the filibuster?  Budowsky: To Dems: Run against the do-nothing GOP, Senate MORE’s (R-Ky.) leadership team.

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown Sinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform How a nice-guy South Dakota senator fell into a Trump storm MORE (R-S.D.) is expected to be elected as Republican whip, the No. 2 position in the conference, when GOP lawmakers meet to vote on their new team at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday in the Old Senate Chamber. 

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Thune will replace Sen. John CornynJohn CornynAll hostages free, safe after hours-long standoff at Texas synagogue: governor McConnell will run for another term as leader despite Trump's attacks Republicans threaten floor takeover if Democrats weaken filibuster  MORE (R-Texas), who is facing a term limit as whip. Cornyn will retain his position through the lame-duck session and then take a role as a counselor to McConnell’s leadership team next year, allowing him to remain a participant in leadership strategy sessions. 

It’s a major promotion for Thune, who GOP senators say is one of the most effective communicators in the conference, and it could put him in a position to run for Senate Republican leader in the future. 

McConnell, however, shows no signs of stepping down anytime soon and told reporters last week that he will run for reelection in 2020. 

Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoMcConnell will run for another term as leader despite Trump's attacks Senate Minority Whip Thune, close McConnell ally, to run for reelection Biden's court picks face fierce GOP opposition MORE (R-Wyo.) will step up to become the new chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, filling Thune’s old job, and Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntJohnson, Thune signal GOP's rising confidence Senate Minority Whip Thune, close McConnell ally, to run for reelection The end of orphanages starts with family strengthening programs MORE (R-Mo.) will take over Barrasso’s current position as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, the No. 4 position. 

Sens. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstAlabama GOP gears up for fierce Senate primary clash Biden's court picks face fierce GOP opposition Lawmakers in both parties to launch new push on Violence Against Women Act MORE (R-Iowa) and Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Biden may get reprieve with gas price drop EPA proposes lowering past blending requirements for gasoline, rejecting waivers Overnight Defense & National Security — A new plan to treat Marines 'like human beings' MORE (R-Neb.) are competing to succeed Blunt as vice chair of the Senate GOP conference, the only contested leadership position. 

McConnell is eager to add a woman to his elected leadership team, according to Republican sources, after coming under criticism earlier this Congress for not including a woman on the special health-care working group he assembled in 2017. 

Ernst is better-known nationally and viewed as an effective communicator on television while Fischer, who serves as a counselor to McConnell’s leadership team, has worked behind the scenes to build strong relationships with GOP leaders. 

Sen. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungDemocrats return with lengthy to-do list Don't just delay student debt, prevent it Senate confirms Rahm Emanuel to be ambassador to Japan MORE (R-Ind.) is making an uncontested bid to serve as National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman. 

When it comes to shifts among committee chairmen, all eyes are on Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyBig Tech critics launch new project Senate antitrust bill has serious ramifications for consumers and small businesses Hillicon Valley: Amazon's Alabama union fight — take two MORE (R-Iowa), who is expected to leave his position as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to take over as chairman of the Finance Committee, according to a Republican source with knowledge of internal discussions. 

If Grassley slides over to chair the Finance Committee, then Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamKyrsten Sinema's courage, Washington hypocrisy and the politics of rage Hillicon Valley: Amazon's Alabama union fight — take two McConnell will run for another term as leader despite Trump's attacks MORE (R-S.C.), an outspoken ally of President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger welcomes baby boy Tennessee lawmaker presents self-defense bill in 'honor' of Kyle Rittenhouse Five things to know about the New York AG's pursuit of Trump MORE who blasted Democrats over their handling of Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughSupreme Court seems wary of Boston's refusal to allow flying of Christian flag Voting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities Supreme Court agrees to hear case on HS coach's suspension over on-field prayers MORE’s confirmation, would take over the Judiciary gavel. 

Grassley’s spokesman Michael Zona told The Hill last week that his boss would announce his decision publicly after he spoke to colleagues. 

A spokesman for Graham declined to comment.  

Chairmen won’t be elected by their committees until after the Senate’s new committee ratios are negotiated, which will wait until the winners of the Florida, Arizona and Mississippi Senate races are known. 

If Grassley stays at Judiciary, however, it would open the way for Sen. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoAlabama GOP gears up for fierce Senate primary clash Senate Republicans call on Biden to lift vaccine mandate for truckers crossing Canadian border GOP ramps up attacks on SALT deduction provision MORE (R-Idaho) to take over as chairman of the Finance Committee and Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyMeet Washington's most ineffective senator: Joe Manchin Black women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal MORE (R-Pa.) to take over as chairman of the Banking Committee. 

Thune is set to step down as chairman of the Commerce Committee, paving the way for Sen. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerBiden huddles with group of senators on Ukraine-Russia tensions Overnight Defense & National Security — Texas hostage situation rattles nation Senators to meet with Ukraine president to reaffirm US support MORE (R-Miss.) to take over that panel. 

Sen. Jim RischJames Elroy RischBiden huddles with group of senators on Ukraine-Russia tensions Republicans say Mayorkas failed to deliver report on evacuated Afghans Ukraine president, US lawmakers huddle amid tensions with Russia MORE (R-Idaho) is poised to take over as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerRepublicans, ideology, and demise of the state and local tax deduction Cheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force MORE (R-Tenn.) retires at the end of the year. 

Senate Democrats will also meet Wednesday to vote on their new leadership team, and a senior Democratic aide said no changes are expected. 

Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown DACA highlights pitfalls of legalization schemes The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Schumer tees up doomed election reform vote MORE (N.Y.), Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown Democrats, poised for filibuster defeat, pick at old wounds  Schumer prepares for Senate floor showdown with Manchin, Sinema MORE (Ill.), Assistant Democratic Leader Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayCDC leader faces precarious political moment Schumer ramps up filibuster fight ahead of Jan. 6 anniversary Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid MORE (Wash.) and Policy and Communications Committee Chairwoman Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowMichigan Republican John James 'strongly considering' House run Updated reconciliation text includes electric vehicle tax credit opposed by Manchin Stabenow calls for expansion of school mental health services MORE (Mich.) will keep their jobs. 

“As far as I know, it’s exactly the same,” said a Senate Democratic aide. “The leadership team all the way down to the lower levels will stay exactly the same.” 

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenLobbying world Sanders open to supporting primary challengers against Manchin and Sinema Warren dodges on whether Sinema, Manchin should be challenged in primaries MORE (D-Mass.) and Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerBiden moves to boost security of sensitive national security systems We are America's independent contractors, and we are terrified Hillicon Valley: Amazon's Alabama union fight — take two MORE (D-Va.) are expected to stay on as vice chairmen of the Democratic Conference, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharBiden huddles with group of senators on Ukraine-Russia tensions Democrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown Apple warns antitrust legislation could expose Americans to malware MORE (D-Minn.) is expected to serve another term as chairwoman of the Steering Committee and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Schumer tees up doomed election reform vote Schumer prepares for Senate floor showdown with Manchin, Sinema White House to make 400 million N95 masks available for free MORE (I-Vt.) is expected to serve another term as chairman of outreach. 

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown The dangerous erosion of Democratic Party foundations Mark Kelly says he'll back changing filibuster rule for voting rights MORE (D-W.Va.) is expected to serve another Congress as vice chairman of policy and communications and Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinOvernight Energy & Environment — Lummis holds up Biden EPA picks Dems block Cruz's Nord Stream 2 sanctions bill Senate delays vote as DC hit by snowstorm MORE (D-Wis.) will serve again as conference secretary, said the Democratic aide. 

One question mark is who will succeed Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenHogan won't say if he will file to run for Senate by Feb. 22 deadline Top Republicans pressing Hogan to run for Senate Democrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit MORE (Md.) as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. 

He served two cycles as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee when he was in the House, so he could be in the mix for another term.

A spokeswoman for Van Hollen declined to comment.