-- Senators on both sides of the aisle elected their leadership this morning, with Democrats attempting to reconfigure their party for the future after a blistering election and Republicans consolidating power in the aftermath of last week’s surprising results.
Saying he was “humbled and honored” by the position, and pointing out the diversity of the Democratic Senate class, Schumer said the party was ready to work with Trump but also “go toe-to-toe against the president-elect whenever our values or the progress we’ve made is under assault.”
Trump wasn’t the only populist leader to have an effect on the new Democratic roster. Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, both heroes with progressive activists, received new positions within Democratic leadership.
Sanders described his position as being responsible for “bringing millions of working people together, young people together, showing that government works for all of us.”
The former presidential hopeful will also keep his post as the top Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee, an important role as President-elect Donald Trump seeks to make some changes to the government’s spending priorities.
The question of which senator will be the next chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which saw mostly disappointing results on Election Night, remained open.
“Stay tuned,” Schumer said when asked about the future of the DSCC.
That committee’s outgoing chair, Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, joked with reporters about the apparent lack of interest in the position.
“Interestingly enough, they haven’t been flocking” to replace him, he said.
The rest of the Republican leadership positions were filled by incumbents, except for Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, who became the new chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaign wing of the Senate GOP conference.
Republicans held control of the Senate by a 51-48 margin last week, buoyed by Trump’s victory. A December runoff election in Louisiana will decide the final seat.
“We are eager to work with House Republicans and President-elect Trump to bring the national and economic security our nation is asking for,” McConnell said in a statement.