Senate Democrats elect Chuck Schumer to be 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)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Democrats have elected Chuck Schumer to be their new minority leader when Congress convenes in January. The New Yorker will be Washington’s most powerful Democrat as the party confronts an all-Republican government led by Donald Trump.

Democrats unanimously picked Schumer at a closed-door meeting Wednesday. He will succeed Harry Reid, the combative Nevada Democrat who is retiring in January after 30 years in the Senate.

Republicans will control the White House, the House and Senate.

Republicans will have a 52-48 edge in the Senate. Democrats will have some leverage because on important issues, they’ll likely force Republicans to garner 60 votes to end filibusters.

It won’t always be possible for Schumer to keep Senate Democrats together because many will seek re-election in two years from GOP-leaning states.

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