Mon, Nov 28, 2016
District Of Columbia
In a big vote of confidence for a newly elected incoming member, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, was chosen by new Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer to Chair the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 2018 midterm election cycle, an important positon as the party regroups after the recent election.
In the Senate, Van Hollen will also assume a seat on the Appropriations Committee, putting him into a positon to steer federal money to Maryland and the region. In being named to Appropriations, he will replace retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who had served as the Committee’s ranking D since 2012, including two years as Chair.
As Van Hollen assumes his dual roles, he will bring with him his House experience as a past Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) from 2007 -2011. where he defended his party majority in 2008, before Republicans reclaimed control with the 2010 midterm elections. The Democrats had a net gain of two Senate seats this cycle, with a possible third after a run-off in Louisiana in December. Looking at a very early map for 2018, of the 15 or so Senate seats that could be competitive two years from now, 11 are in states like Indiana and Missouri that Donald Trump won and Democrats lost on Election Day. Van Hollen is the first Senator-elect to be asked to lead the DSCC.
In a statement, Van Hollen framed the Democratic Senators as “the last line of defense between President-elect Trump and Washington Republicans, and so many of the values and priorities that Americans hold dear.” Republicans under Majority leader Mitch McConnell chose Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner to lead the National Republican Senatorial Committee.