Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is looking to change up Democratic leadership for the next session of Congress after the Democrats were able to hold on to their majority in the upper chamber in a close midterm election.
Schumer is likely to promote Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to leadership positions, according to information and documents obtained by Politico. Stabenow and Klobuchar are frequent names on bipartisan bills, and both are on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
The Senate majority leader is suggesting that the Democrats eliminate the position of assistant leader from the caucus’s hierarchy, as Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) plans to step down from her No. 3 leadership role. She is set to chair the Appropriations Committee and become Senate pro tempore, placing her third in line for presidential succession.
He also plans to create a new role called the deputy conference secretary, per the documents. Schumer sent staffers a message with his proposals on Wednesday afternoon.
Based on the messages, Schumer plans to include leaders who land all across the ideological spectrum in his team. Keeping Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) as majority whip, he plans to have the next Democratic ranking leader be the chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, which is currently Stabenow. Klobuchar, the chairwoman of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, would become No. 3, according to Schumer’s proposal.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is suggesting a different approach to the Democratic leadership next session. He proposes that starting in 2025, the majority whip, DPCC chair, and steering chair would not be able to hold any other leadership positions, allowing more opportunities for junior members to achieve leadership. Senate Republicans impose term limits on every top-five leadership position, except for Republican leader.
Durbin, Stabenow, and Klobuchar currently chair the Judiciary Committee, Agriculture Committee, and Rules Committee, respectively.
Schumer is also looking to add two vice chairs of the conference, which would fall to Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). His proposals would also add positions that would sequentially elevate Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) to top leadership roles.
The Democrats are set to discuss these proposals on Nov. 29 when Congress is back in session next week. A secret ballot vote has been slated for Dec. 1, one week before the caucus’s leadership elections.
Democrats hold the Senate majority with 50 seats, including two independent senators. A runoff in Georgia, slated for Dec. 6, will determine if the upper chamber is split evenly, with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaking vote.