New Senate leadership–much like the old
November 14th, 2012
02:37 PM ET
10 years ago

New Senate leadership–much like the old

Washington (CNN) - If voters want major change in Washington, they won't find it in the next Senate's leadership. There will be little turnover in the chamber's top ranks in January, according to Democratic and GOP caucus election results announced Wednesday.

Nevada's Harry Reid is returning for another term as leader of the majority Democrats, who defied expectations by expanding their caucus from 53 to 55 members. Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin will once again serve as assistant majority leader, while New York Sen. Chuck Schumer returns as Democratic conference vice chairman – the party's number three slot.

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Washington Sen. Patty Murray is back as the Democratic conference secretary - the majority leadership's number four slot.

Democrats have not settled on a replacement for Murray to head up their campaign committee, which will spearhead the party's Senate efforts in 2014.

On the Republican side of the aisle, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell was re-elected minority leader on Wednesday. McConnell was nominated by Florida's Marco Rubio and Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey, two tea party favorites who may help bolster the minority leader's standing among conservatives deeply disappointed with last week's election results.

McConnell also has to guard his conservative flank back home in Kentucky, where he will face voters in two years.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn will replace retiring Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl in the GOP's number two slot – an outcome never seriously considered in doubt despite Cornyn's leadership of the GOP's Senate campaign effort this year. Republicans started the year with high hopes of gaining the majority.

"We have a lot of very difficult work to do, but we are committed to working with our colleagues across the aisle to solving the nation's urgent problems," Cornyn told reporters.

South Dakota's John Thune, Wyoming's John Barrasso, Missouri's Roy Blunt, and Kansas's Jerry Moran will round out the ranks of the GOP leadership next year. Moran will succeed Cornyn as head of the GOP's senatorial campaign committee - a position the Kansan has aggressively sought.

"The success of politics follows governing well, and so I'm looking forward to working with Leader McConnell and others in our conference to make sure that we make the right decisions on behalf of America," Moran said.

- CNN Senior Congressional Producer Ted Barrett contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Senate
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. ilia

    So the Republicans decided to continue to be the party of stupid. Good luck with that.

    November 14, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    There is a new wood finishing product you can buy at the GOP headquarters. It's called "Mitt Romney's Shellacking."

    November 14, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. just sayin

    so harry reid can just adjourn the senate for another 4 years and not vote on anything? sweet!!!

    November 14, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. michael weir

    alex at cnn,all it will take is you to get a termnal illness like cancer and you will loose everything you have then what will you do, you will have to get medicadaor something, be glad you have your health, president obama doesnt need to make people like me suffer more, we are suffering enough,

    November 14, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. Linda

    Do you really think you can spend 8 years digging a hole, and then it would only take 4 years to fill it back up. We had 8 years of Bush incompetence. He was the worst president ever. Lied about the war, killed 4,000 of our sons, drove our debt sky high. Mr Obama is well respected all of the world, no one ever threw a show in his face. He honestly cares about the poor and the middle class. All the countries all over the world are happy he leads the US because he treats everyone with dignity and respect. The majority voted Mr Obama for president. The Supreme Court had to rule so Bush could serve his second term. He didnt' even win the vote. Please take your filters off. We the people of the US have spoken

    November 14, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    There are a lot of us who will never get over the 3000 deaths on 9/11/2001, the 4500 deaths of soldiers in Bush's unnecessary war in Iraq, or the 48,000 soldiers who were severely wounded. Libya was liberated without the loss of life, but there is always going to be terrorists there, much like our own domestic bagger terrorists.

    November 14, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  7. Wake up People!

    It's time for Mitch" the G.R.A.N.D. dragon McConnell to GO!!

    November 14, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Thanks to the ACA, I will no longer have to pay for uninsured republicans who show up at the emergency room. Everyone will have some skin in the game.

    November 14, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. batjones

    The article does not state what positions John Thune, John Barrasso and Roy Blunt serves. I believe Senator Thune was the Senate Republican Conference Chairman.

    "Texas Sen. John Cornyn will replace retiring Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl in the GOP's number two slot – an outcome never seriously considered in doubt despite Cornyn's leadership of the GOP's Senate campaign effort this year." This is a nice way of stating that Cornyn got a promotion despite his failure to increase Republican numbers in the Senate

    November 14, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. it must be said

    the democrat party continues to be held hostage by the far left progressive/socialist/communist loons. the country is doomed.

    November 14, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. Elvis

    oooh King, er Pres Obama got angry. Maybe we should stop investigating the truth about why UN Ambassador Rice lied then – possibly because the trail leads back to Obama himself?

    November 14, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. Meese

    Four years more of vacation for the Senate led by the combative and compulsive liar, Harry Reid. Its so nice to have this senile slacker leading our most august body.

    November 14, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. Foremost

    Same old politics. Hope the lessons will be learnt from the election results. This may be the last chance for GOP to shine and prove it they are serious about fixing the fiscal mess. I see no good reason to support tax breaks for the wealthy, we simply cannot afford it! And if special interests means more to them than financial health of our country it is a shame. They should lose their jobs.

    November 14, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. bob

    Patrick in Wisconsin

    Well since all you sore loser conservatives are still whining about the state of affairs right now, why don't you talk your talk and get off your butts and work? I'm sure you don't get paid to spew vile nonsense here, or at least not since Mitt got his clocks cleaned last week.

    You sir, have a flawed statement. The issue is conservatives are working, that's who is supporting the other 47% who do not pay taxes, like yourself. Continue to take from other people does not make for a better economy, all it does is create turmoil and divide the American people. Where are you going to get money if you have taken it all from people who are better off? i.e. U.S. is now the new Europe.

    November 14, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. Wake up People!

    The GOP is nothing but a bunch of sore losers. They learned absolutely NOTHING last week. Keep up the good work traitors. The more you demonize President Obama, the more batsh!t crazy you look. Another 4 years of trying to bring the POTUS down, while they do nothing to help us move forward. Ok Mr. President, you tried to do things the right way and it didn't help. They lied on you constantly and blocked everything you tried to do. They call you a dictator, I want to see you act like one. I am so sick of these self righteous, disrespectful traitors.

    You people, yes I said you people, need to get over it and stop acting like playground bullies and get to work.

    November 14, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. Mike

    John McCain is a little bitter old man since loosing to the President in 08. I had respect for him prior to that, but now he acts like a child whose favorite toy was stolen. He needs to retire and go back to Arizona, because at this point his thinking is severly impaired.

    November 14, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |