- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York was named Wednesday as the new leader of the Senate Democrats, replacing Sen. Harry Reid, who is retiring after 30 years in the Senate.

Mr. Schumer announced the leadership also is set to expand to include Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who ran a hard-fought primary campaign against Hillary Clinton, as well as Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia — who comes from the more liberal and conservative poles of the party.

The leadership reshuffle will take effect after the new Congress convenes in January.

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois serves in the No. 2 spot as minority whip, Sen Patty Murray of Washington moves into the Nov. 3 spot as assistant Democratic leader and Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan moves into the No. 4 slot as chair of the Democratic policy and communications committee.

Rounding out the leadership team are Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.

“I am truly humbled,” Mr. Schumer said after the caucus elected him to the top job, adding that the changes to the leadership team reflects the regional and ideological diversity of the party.

SEE ALSO: Chuck Schumer, Dems’ new Senate leader, open to filibustering Donald Trump’s Supreme Court picks

Mr. Schumer’ ascension to the top post comes after Democrats took a shellacking in the 2016 election. Republicans will have a 52-48 edge in the Senate.

“We need a much sharper, bolder, economic message,” Mr. Schumer said. “And we needed to let the American people understand what we all believe, that the system’s not working for them. And we’re going to change it.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont will become the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, while Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California is posed to become the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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