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Sen. McConnell to Remain Republican Leader

McConnell
(Image credit: Sen. Mitch McConnell)

The Republican Conference has elected its leadership for the next Congress, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been re-installed as Republican leader. That title was formerly either "majority" or "minority leader," but that has changed and this year that chance is particularly appropriate since it is unclear which one McConnell will be. 

While President Trump lost, it was far closer than predicted, while in Congress Republicans may hold on to the Senate after predictions it would flip to Democrats--two Georgia run-offs will determine whether Republicans maintain a majority or whether it is a 50/50 split with Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris able to cast a tie-breaking vote. In the House, the Democrats predictions of picking up a dozen or more seats evaporated, with Republicans actually picking up seats, though with Dems still in control.

Former Senate Commerce Committee chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) was elected Republican whip. The "whip" is charged with helping the speaker corral votes for legislative proposals.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) was elected Conference chairman; Roy Blunt will be chairman of the Policy Committee; Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) will be conference vice chairman; and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) will be chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.