The PJ Tatler

Lots of Familiar Faces to Lead Senate in 113th Congress

Everything old is pretty much new again in the Senate leadership for the 113th Congress — with a notable addition to fill the seat of retiring Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.).

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who led the campaign effort this year as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, was elected today as Whip for the next Congress.

“I’m honored to have been chosen by my colleagues to help lead our caucus during such a critical time for this country. Core Texas values like hard work, limited government, and individual liberty will continue to guide me in this new role. I look forward to working with the Conference to tackle the major hurdles before us, beginning with the looming fiscal cliff,” Cornyn said after winning the No. 2 spot in the GOP. “…Now more than ever this nation needs leaders willing to step up and make the tough choices that are right for our country, not politically expedient for one party.”

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) will fill Cornyn’s old job as head of the NRSC.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was re-elected to his top post with nominating speeches from Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

“Mitch unifies all of us, regardless of philosophy or what part of the country we come from,” Rubio said. “He’s the smartest political mind around and a great listener. Above all else, what Mitch cares about is whether we succeed as a conference and as a country, and that’s why I’m proud to nominate him for another term as Leader.’”

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) was also re-elected head of the Republican Policy Committee, a position he’s held since January.

“Decisions we make in Washington will have a tremendous impact on the future of our country,” Barrasso said. “Now more than ever, Republicans must show that we have the right policy solutions that will benefit every American. I look forward to working with my colleagues on policies that create jobs, reform government, and keep America safe.”

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) was re-elected Republican Conference Chairman and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) will remain conference vice-chairman.

On the other side of the aisle, things stayed the same: re-elections for Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), conference vice chairman Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and conference secretary Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

Murray is leaving her job as head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. That job is so far unfilled.