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Schatz named to Democratic leadership post in Senate


    U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz delivers an address at the IUCN World Conservation Congress opening ceremony at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center arena on Sept. 1.

The Democratic leadership in the U.S. Senate has named Sen. Brian Schatz as one of the chief deputy whips, a leadership job Schatz said will give him a greater role in shaping policy and communications for the minority Democrats.

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) was also named chief deputy whip, and the two will join U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who already holds that post.

“I’m deeply honored to serve in this new leadership role,” Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat, said in a news release. “We have a lot of work to do in the Senate, and this new post puts me in a better position to help shape and defend our priorities. I look forward to working with Senators Booker and Merkley and our diverse leadership team on building a stronger future for Hawaii and our country.”

Schatz and Booker are two of the youngest members of the Senate, and Minority Whip Dick Durbin said in a written statement that both lawmakers have “proven their mettle as leading policy minds in our country, and have earned a place helping to shape policy and communications in our caucus. Our team is stronger for their experience and vision.”

Schatz faced only nominal opposition in the 2016 election, and winning more than 70 percent of the vote. After the election he was appointed to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, which oversees federal housing and transit agencies.

Schatz already served on the Senate committees on Appropriations; Commerce, Science, and Transportation; Indian Affairs; and Ethics.

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