Senate Democrat leaders have added Virginia Sen. Mark Warner to their team as a policy development advisor in hopes of adding a moderate voice to balance out the solidly left-leaning views held by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, who has advocated since the Nov. 4 election for another centrist colleague to join in with the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, made the announcement about Warner on Friday, reports The Hill
Warner said he plans to work toward making bipartisan compromises as part of the committee, and that he is "looking forward to working with my colleagues to make the U.S. Senate a place where real work gets done to solve the challenges facing the American people."
However, adding Warner means bringing in a Democrat who turned against Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid in a private meeting after the election, when Democrats lost control of the Senate.
He and fellow Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia; Tim Kaine of Virginia; Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota; Claire McCaskill of Missouri; and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana voted to drop Reid as Democratic leader during that meeting, reports The Hill
Warner, who is pro-business, is in contrast with Warren, an outspoken critic of big business.
Schumer said Warner is a "natural leader" who will help round out the team.
“Mark is a natural leader in our caucus who will bring a diverse experience of both private sector and public service work to this new role,” he said. “In the next Congress, Mark will work closely with the entire DPCC team to put forward policies and a message that resonate strongly with America’s middle class.”
Warner and Reid have been at odds for some time after he formed the "Gang of Six" three years ago to create a deficit reduction package.
"If someone has a proposal about reducing the deficit, the debt, here’s my suggestion: Put it in bill form, in writing, not all these happy statements about what people think can be done,” Reid told reporters then. “I’m stunned by the Gang of Six that we hear so much about. My honest feeling is that I think we’re beyond gangs of five and gangs of six,” he said.
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