Senate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation
Senate Democrats on Tuesday morning reelected Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) as Senate minority leader along with the rest of his leadership team, including Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who will serve another term as Senate minority whip, and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) as assistant Democratic leader.
The meeting was focused on the business of reelecting the Democratic leadership slate instead of discussing what went right and wrong for Senate Democrats on Election Day, when they fell short of winning back the majority. Democrats still have a chance to win two runoff races in Georgia on Jan. 5, which could make Schumer the Senate majority leader.
In addition to reelecting Schumer as Democratic leader, Durbin as whip and Murray as conference chair, the conference reelected Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) to serve as chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) as vice chairs of the Senate Democratic Conference.
The new additions to the leadership team are Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who will serve as vice chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), who will serve as vice chair of outreach, adding African American and Latina representation to the leadership team.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) was reelected as chair of the Senate Democratic Steering Committee, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) was reelected as secretary of the conference and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will serve another term as chair of outreach.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will serve another term as vice chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.
“There’s nobody who works harder than Chuck, there’s nobody who tries to listen to more people than Chuck,” Manchin said after the meeting, adding that there was no dissent expressed to Schumer leading the Democratic conference another two more years.
Schumer still has to make a decision on who to appoint as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and one option is newly elected Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), who previously chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the House.
Democratic senators described their first meeting back at the Capitol after the election as smooth, despite some disappointment at not winning more seats on Nov. 3.
“Nothing was really discussed,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) after the meeting. “We’ll have more discussion later.”
She said the session “was kind of getting everybody together for the first time.”
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) described the meeting as “good” and noted Booker and Cortez Masto joining the leadership team.