Senate Republicans re-elected Mitch McConnell on Wednesday to be majority leader next year while Democrats picked Chuck Schumer to lead them, setting the chief actors as the chamber prepares for an agenda that will be dominated by Donald Trump and the GOP.
McConnell, 74, is a discreet but deadly master of the Senate’s legislative chess game. His role will be to steer GOP bills to the desk of a president whose name he barely spoke during a tumultuous campaign in which many Republicans viewed Trump and his incendiary comments on Muslims, veterans and others as political poison.
“It’s time to accept the results of the election, to lower the tone and to see what we can do together to make progress for the country,” McConnell, from Kentucky, told reporters Wednesday.
As Senate minority leader, Schumer will assume his weakened party’s most powerful remaining post as it struggles to define its role in a Republican-dominated government.