Mitch McConnell re-elected Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer of NY elected Senate Minority Leader

FILE - In this June 21,2016 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., accompanied by, from left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, listen to a question during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democrats are criticizing the latest Republican version of legislation that's needed to avoid a government shutdown next weekend. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada told reporters that McConnell will unveil the stopgap spending bill and a long-delayed bill to combat the Zika virus on Thursday, Sept, 22, 2016, but that Democrats haven't signed on to the measure. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Democrats in that chamber won't back the measure, either. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
FILE - In this June 21,2016 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., accompanied by, from left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, listen to a question during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democrats are criticizing the latest Republican version of legislation that's needed to avoid a government shutdown next weekend. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada told reporters that McConnell will unveil the stopgap spending bill and a long-delayed bill to combat the Zika virus on Thursday, Sept, 22, 2016, but that Democrats haven't signed on to the measure. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Democrats in that chamber won't back the measure, either. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Republicans have re-elected Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell to be majority leader when the new Congress convenes in January and starts working on Donald Trump’s agenda.

McConnell distanced himself from Trump during the campaign, but says he’s ready to work with him. Senate Democrats, meanwhile, have elected Chuck Schumer to be their new minority leader.

FILE - In this July 26, 2016 file photo, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY., speaks during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Senate Democrats are turning to Schumer, a Brooklyn-bred partisan infighter with a pragmatic streak, to steer them into the Donald Trump era. Senate Democrats and Republicans are meeting separately Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, to pick their leaders for the Congress that convenes in January 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
FILE – In this July 26, 2016 file photo, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY., speaks during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Senate Democrats are turning to Schumer, a Brooklyn-bred partisan infighter with a pragmatic streak, to steer them into the Donald Trump era. Senate Democrats and Republicans are meeting separately Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, to pick their leaders for the Congress that convenes in January 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

 

The New Yorker will be Washington’s most powerful Democrat as the party confronts an all-Republican government led by Trump.

Schumer told reporters Wednesday that they will work with Donald Trump on issues where they agree but challenge him when values or progress is under assault.

Schumer said that “when you lose an election like this you can’t flinch.”

In other changes, Sen. Patrick Leahy will be the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee and Sen. Dianne Feinstein will fill that post on Judiciary as the Senate considers a Supreme Court nominee.

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