A week after the devastating election losses that made Donald Trump president-elect and kept the Republicans in control of both houses of Congress, Democrats spent Wednesday putting leaders into place that can help plot the party’s comeback.
Time reports that the party’s leadership in the Senate now includes a diverse crowd of ideologies and geographies. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren came out with new leadership roles: Sanders will be chair of outreach, while Warren was named vice chair of the conference. Sanders will also continue as the ranking member in the Senate Budget Committee.
“We needed a much stronger, sharper and bolder economic message,” New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who will serve as minority leader, told Time, “and we needed to let the American people know we understand what they all believe: that the system isn’t working for them, and we’re going to change it.”
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin will remain minority whip, and Washington Sen. Patty Murray will replace Schumer as assistant Democratic leader.
“We’ll unite our caucus and speak to the blue-collar worker in West Virginia and Michigan as well as the people who live along the coasts,” Schumer said.
Democrats now control just 13 state legislatures and have 17 governors, and they will have to figure out how to work with Trump as president. Schumer said that unlike Republicans in 2009 who chose to oppose President Barack Obama’s agenda at every turn, he will not take that route.
“When we can agree on issues, then we’re going to work with him,” Schumer said. “We’re not going to just, as some have done here in the past said, just because it’s President Trump’s idea or thought, we’re going to oppose it per se. Where we can work together, we will.
“I’ve also said to the president-elect that on issues where we disagree, you can expect a strong and tough fight,” Schumer added.
Read more at Time.