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Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell hang on to their Senate leadership roles

Republicans also added a woman to their ranks for the first time since 2010.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
Al Drago; Alex Wong/Getty Images
Li Zhou is a politics reporter at Vox, where she covers Congress and elections. Previously, she was a tech policy reporter at Politico and an editorial fellow at the Atlantic.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will both hang on to their leadership roles in Congress’s new upcoming term.

During Republican and Democratic internal elections in the Senate on Wednesday morning, McConnell and Schumer were both reelected to their roles by “acclamation” — essentially a no-drama voice vote.

Republicans have praised McConnell’s no-holds-barred leadership and willingness to break Senate norms in order jam through their own judicial nominees — and they stand to gain some seats. Schumer, too, still has the broader support of many Democrats — despite some pushback from progressive activists over concerns about whether he could have been more aggressive in opposition toward Brett Kavanaugh and other Trump administration nominees.

Democratic Senator-elect Kyrsten Sinema had previously said she would not back Schumer for the leadership role while she was campaigning for an Arizona seat in the upper chamber, but she did not end up vocalizing this opposition on Wednesday. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to cut through the dysfunction and deliver results for Arizona,” she said in a statement. “Had there been a challenger for Minority Leader, I would have considered new leadership and a fresh perspective. I will continue to put Arizona over party.”

In addition to majority and minority leader, senators are in the process of electing other key positions for their respective party conferences. Democrats are expected to maintain pretty much the same slate of folks they had in the previous term, and Republicans’ biggest shift is Sen. John Thune (SD) taking over the majority whip role for Sen. John Cornyn (TX), who is term-limited out of the position.

On the GOP side, there was also a face-off between Sens. Joni Ernst (IA) and Deb Fischer (NE) over the vice chair role in the Republican conference. Ernst, who emerged victorious, will be the first woman in Senate Republican leadership in nearly a decade.

Here’s what the rosters look like for Democrats and Republicans after Wednesday’s vote. We’ll keep updating this list as other positions are finalized:


Majority Leader: Mitch McConnell

Majority Whip: John Thune

Chair of Republican Conference: John Barrasso

Vice Chair of Republican Conference: Joni Ernst

Chair of Republican Policy: Roy Blunt

Chair of the National Republican Senate Committee: Todd Young


Minority Leader: Chuck Schumer

Minority Whip: Dick Durbin

Assistant Democratic Leader: Patty Murray

Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee: Debbie Stabenow

Vice Chair of the Conference: Elizabeth Warren

Vice Chair of the Conference: Mark Warner

Chair of Steering Committee: Amy Klobuchar

Chair of Outreach: Bernie Sanders

Vice Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee: Joe Manchin

Senate Democratic Conference Secretary: Tammy Baldwin

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