Senate Democratic leadership on Monday appointed U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) to new roles in the caucus’s leadership team.

They will serve as chief deputy whips, “leadership positions that will give them a greater role in shaping policy and communications for Senate Democrats,” according to a press release from Schatz’s office.

Schatz and Booker join Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) on the chief deputy whip team. 

Senator Brian Schatz Pearl Harbor before speeches. Kilo Pier. 27 dec 2016
Senator Brian Schatz at Pearl Harbor last month. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

“I’m deeply honored to serve in this new leadership role,” Schatz said. “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 can’t think of two better leaders to join the Whip team than Senators Schatz and Booker,” said Democratic Whip Dick Durbin. “Both 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.”

The main purpose of whips, Wikipedia explains, is to help find votes.

There are currently 46 Democrats, two independents who side with Dems and 52 Republicans in the Senate.

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