Senate Democratic leadership elevated U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) to new roles in the caucus’s leadership team. Senators Schatz and Booker will serve as Chief Deputy Whips, leadership positions that will give them a greater role in shaping policy and communications for Senate Democrats. Schatz and Booker join U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who announced his post in December, on the Chief Deputy Whip team.
“I’m deeply honored to serve in this new leadership role,” said Senator Schatz. “We have a lot of work to do in the Senate, and this new post puts me in a better position to help shape and defend our priorities. I look forward to working with Senators Booker and Merkley and our diverse leadership team on building a stronger future for Hawai‘i and our country.”
Winning 74 percent of the vote in Hawai‘i, Senator Schatz was re-elected to the Senate in November with the largest margin of victory of any Democratic Senate candidate in 2016. Following his re-election, he was appointed to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. In addition to the new committee assignment, Senator Schatz will retain his posts on the Senate committees on Appropriations; Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Indian Affairs; and Ethics.
“With President-elect Trump threatening to take affordable health coverage away from millions, preparing to turn dangerous campaign rhetoric about minorities, women, religious groups, and LGBT Americans into reality, and pursuing policies that deny economic opportunity to people who need it most, Democrats need to make sure we are standing up for the middle class, fighting for all Americans, and holding the administration accountable,” said Senator Booker. “I’m honored to be part of the Senate Democratic leadership team, and I look forward to the hard work ahead.”
After winning election to the Senate in a 2013 special election, Senator Booker was re-elected to a full six-year term in 2014. In addition to his leadership duties, in the 115th Congress, Booker will serve on the Senate committees on Foreign Relations; Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Environment and Public Works; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
“I can’t think of two better leaders to join the Whip team than Senators Schatz and Booker,” said Democratic Whip Dick Durbin. “Both have proven their mettle as leading policy minds in our country, and have earned a place helping to shape policy and communications in our caucus. Our team is stronger for their experience and vision.”
Schatz and Booker, two of the youngest members of the Senate, have worked together on a number of initiatives and bills. As members of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, the two worked closely together to help address the future impact of new technology, and most recently, the two partnered on an initiative to increase diversity within the Senate.