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Sanders Named to Senate Leadership Post

Sen. Bernie Sanders was named to a U.S. Senate leadership post on Wednesday.

The Hill reports:

Sanders was named chairman of outreach during a closed-door Senate Democratic caucus meeting Wednesday morning.

In the role, Sanders will be in charge of reaching out to blue-collar voters who flocked to President-elect Donald Trump this year.

Sanders told reporters that he has a “heavy responsibility to help shape the priorities of the United States government.”

“I’m going to do everything that I can to make sure that the budget that leaves the United States Congress is a budget that represents the needs of working families and a shrinking middle class and not billionaires,” he said.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said Sanders was brought into the leadership to better represent the different factions of the Democratic caucus in decision-making.

“We want to expand on that, and he will be reaching out to all our allies,” she told reporters. “We have a tremendous amount of talent in our caucus and we want to make sure everyone is contributing.”

Sanders, however, will not have a top-ranking position in the leadership.

Incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) installed Stabenow as chairwoman of the Democratic Policy and Communications Center (DPCC) — the job Schumer held in the 114th Congress as the third-ranking member of leadership. The DPCC chairman has traditionally been in charge of coordinating the floor and messaging strategies.

Sanders will keep his post as the senior minority member of the Budget Committee, which will give him a high-profile platform in the next Congress, when Republicans are expected to use the budget process to repeal ObamaCare.

Sanders mounted a fierce challenge to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primaries, winning more than 20 states before eventually conceding and endorsing Clinton. He frequently campaigned for her and against Trump in Midwestern swing states.

Sanders is one of three new members to the Senate Democratic leadership team. Schumer has also tapped Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) to the leadership team, which has 10 positions.

Baldwin will serve as Senate Democratic Conference secretary and Manchin will serve as vice chairman of the DPCC.

Photo credit: Marc Nozell/Flickr.

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