Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was unanimously reelected for another term as Senate majority leader on Dec. 7, after growing the majority for Democrats in Senate to 51 seats.
The decision was reportedly made behind closed doors at the Capitol during a private meeting with the Democratic caucus.
“We had a great unified meeting, where we were both very glad about what we were able to accomplish in the last Congress and setting aspirations—strong aspirations—that we will accomplish as much in the next two years,” Schumer said afterward, flanked by the dozen-member team.
The Democratic caucus also decided to mostly keep the rest of its leadership team intact for the 118th Congress that will begin in January.
The only exception will be that of Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who will be the president pro tempore and chair of the Appropriations Committee but will no longer serve on the leadership team.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is expected to return as the party majority whip in the No. 2 position, and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) is expected to be chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, in the No. 3 position of Democratic leadership.
Schumer’s reelection as a leader comes only a day after Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) defeated his opponent, Herschel Walker, in the Georgia run-off election, which gave Democrats a better-than-anticipated majority to control the Senate chamber.
“The practical effects of the 51-seat majority: It’s big. It’s significant. We can breathe a sigh of relief,” Schumer told reporters at a news conference in Washington.
“Obviously judges and nominees will be a lot easier to put on the bench,” he added. “It’s going to be a lot quicker, swifter, and easier.”
Though Schumer has a larger-than-expected majority in the Senate, the next two years are still expected to be rocky for the majority leader in a divided Washington, as Republicans have regained control of the House.
Prior to becoming Senate majority leader, Schumer chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 2005 to 2009 as the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, behind then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Majority Whip Dick Durbin. He served as vice chair of the Democratic Caucus in the Senate from 2007 to 2017 and chaired the Senate Democratic Policy Committee from 2011 to 2017.
In 2016, when Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced he was retiring from the Senate, Schumer won a fourth term in the Senate and was unanimously elected as Democratic leader to succeed Reid.
A veteran lawmaker from New York, Schumer was a three-term member of the New York State Assembly from 1975 to 1980. He made history in 2021 by becoming the first elected Jewish Senate majority leader.
Schumer’s reelection will now place two New Yorkers at the top of the Democratic leadership in Congress, the second behind Rep. Hakeem Jefferies (D-N.Y.) the incoming House minority leader.
Republicans in the Senate have also already chosen their team, putting Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell on track to become the longest-serving party leader in the chamber.
McConnell beat back a rare challenge from Florida GOP Sen. Rick Scott after he failed to win back the Senate majority for the Republicans.
So far, Schumer has declined to outline priorities for the next term as Democrats and Republicans prepare to hold separate private retreats in the new year to set their agendas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times