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 McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions What if 2020 election is disputed? Immigration bills move forward amid political upheaval MORE’s (R-Ky.) leadership team.

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneFrustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' Hillicon Valley: Assange hit with 17 more charges | Facebook removes record 2.2B fake profiles | Senate passes anti-robocall bill | Senators offer bill to help companies remove Huawei equipment Senate passes anti-robocall bill 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 CornynTrump goes scorched earth against impeachment talk The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Bipartisan House bill calls for strategy to protect 5G networks from foreign threats 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 BarrassoTrump boxed in on trade Export-Import Bank back to full strength after Senate confirmations Mike Enzi announces he'll retire from Senate after 2020 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 BluntHit singer Andy Grammer says 'unity' more important than any political party Top GOP senator: 'More harassment than oversight' in House Hillicon Valley: Trump takes flak for not joining anti-extremism pact | Phone carriers largely end sharing of location data | Huawei pushes back on ban | Florida lawmakers demand to learn counties hacked by Russians | Feds bust 0M cybercrime group 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 ErnstSenate defense bill would make military sexual harassment standalone crime Congress, White House near deal on spending, debt limit Trump mulling visit to ethanol refinery later this month: report MORE (R-Iowa) and Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerCongress readies for battle over nuclear policy Trump's pursuit of infrastructure deal hits GOP roadblock Why America needs the ability to track enemy missiles from space 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 YoungBipartisan senators unveil measure to end surprise medical bills Pence, McConnell eulogize Sen. Richard Lugar On The Money: GOP angst grows over Trump's trade war | Trump promises help for 'Patriot Farmers' | Markets rebound | CBO founding director Alice Rivlin dies | Senate to vote on disaster aid bill next week 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 GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTrump Citizenship and Immigration Services head out at agency Trump-Pelosi fight threatens drug pricing talks Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Senators unveil sweeping bipartisan health care package | House lawmakers float Medicare pricing reforms | Dems offer bill to guarantee abortion access 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 GrahamTrump declassification move unnerves Democrats Climate change is a GOP issue, too New Yorker cover titled 'The Shining' shows Graham, McConnell, Barr polishing Trump's shoes MORE (R-S.C.), an outspoken ally of President TrumpDonald John TrumpPapadopoulos on AG's new powers: 'Trump is now on the offense' Pelosi uses Trump to her advantage Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address MORE who blasted Democrats over their handling of Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughMurkowski celebrates birthday with electric scooter ride Graham urges Trump not to abandon infrastructure talks with Democrats 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests 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 CrapoOn The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump Trump, Senate GOP discuss effort to overhaul legal immigration MORE (R-Idaho) to take over as chairman of the Finance Committee and Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyOvernight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns Top GOP candidate drops out of Ohio Senate race 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 Wicker2020 Democrats target federal ban on abortion funding Data privacy: Consumers want it, businesses need it — it's time our government delivers it Hillicon Valley: Assange hit with 17 more charges | Facebook removes record 2.2B fake profiles | Senate passes anti-robocall bill | Senators offer bill to help companies remove Huawei equipment MORE (R-Miss.) to take over that panel. 

Sen. Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischOvernight Defense: 1,500 troops heading to Mideast to counter Iran | Trump cites Iran tensions to push through Saudi arms sale | Senate confirms Army, Navy chiefs before weeklong recess Senators say Trump using loophole to push through Saudi arms sale On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers MORE (R-Idaho) is poised to take over as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerJeff Daniels blasts 'cowardice' of Senate Republicans against Trump Corker: 'I just don't' see path to challenge Trump in 2020 Ex-GOP Sen. Corker: Trump primary would be 'good thing for our country' 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 SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNo agreement on budget caps in sight ahead of Memorial Day recess Ex-White House photographer roasts Trump: 'This is what a cover up looked like' under Obama Pelosi: Trump 'is engaged in a cover-up' MORE (N.Y.), Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk Threat of impeachment takes oxygen out of 2019 agenda Senate Democrats request watchdog, Red Cross probe DHS detention facilities MORE (Ill.), Assistant Democratic Leader Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Senators unveil sweeping bipartisan health care package | House lawmakers float Medicare pricing reforms | Dems offer bill to guarantee abortion access Bipartisan senators reveal sweeping health care package Senate chairman says bipartisan health care package coming Thursday MORE (Wash.) and Policy and Communications Committee Chairwoman Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowCongress: Support legislation to defend Medicare home health  Dems want climate change, tax hikes in infrastructure deal Critics accuse EPA of weakening pollution rule for Pentagon 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 Ann WarrenTrump defense pick expected to face tense confirmation 2020 Democrats target federal ban on abortion funding Gillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign MORE (D-Mass.) and Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerTrump declassification move unnerves Democrats Hillicon Valley: Assange hit with 17 more charges | Facebook removes record 2.2B fake profiles | Senate passes anti-robocall bill | Senators offer bill to help companies remove Huawei equipment Senators offer bipartisan bill to help US firms remove Huawei equipment from networks MORE (D-Va.) are expected to stay on as vice chairmen of the Democratic Conference, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharKlobuchar to roll out policy priorities for farmers in Iowa 2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan Samantha Bee slams 2020 Democrats who go on Fox News MORE (D-Minn.) is expected to serve another term as chairwoman of the Steering Committee and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJames Carville: Biden represents 'stability' not 'generational change' Ocasio-Cortez, progressives trash 'antisemitic' Politico illustration of Bernie Sanders 2020 Democrats target federal ban on abortion funding MORE (I-Vt.) is expected to serve another term as chairman of outreach. 

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSenate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Senate panel approves Interior nominee over objections from Democrats MORE (D-W.Va.) is expected to serve another Congress as vice chairman of policy and communications and Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinWarren vows to fight 'tooth and nail' for LGBTQ protections as president This week: House to vote on bill to ban LGBTQ discrimination Overnight Defense — Presented by Huntington Ingalls Industries — Pentagon approves transfer of .5B to border wall | Dems blast move | House Dem pushes Pelosi to sue over Trump's Yemen veto 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 HollenPhoto showing 3-year-old girl high-five new Harriet Tubman mural goes viral The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Democrats grill Trump Interior chief for saying he hasn't 'lost sleep' over climate change 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.