Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri won re-election to the Republican leadership team in the Senate on Wednesday, while his colleague Claire McCaskill nabbed the job of top Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee.
Blunt will continue to serve as vice chairman of the Republican conference, a post he’s held since 2011. The job puts the veteran lawmaker at the forefront of the GOP’s messaging efforts in the Senate, with a particular focus on engaging voters through digital platforms, his office said.
“Now, more than ever, it is critical that we maintain an open and robust dialog with the American people about the challenges they’re facing and what we’re doing to address them,” Blunt said in a statement. “We have a tremendous opportunity to move forward with solutions that will give hardworking families in Missouri and across the nation a chance to get ahead, and I’m grateful to be in a position to help lead that effort.”
McCaskill will become the top-ranking Democrat in the Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. She replaces Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, who will take the highest Democratic post on the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
McCaskill’s appointment will expand her role in federal government oversight and ensuring national security, her office said.
“Holding the government accountable to its people, guarding taxpayer dollars from waste, and better protecting the safety of Missouri’s families, have been the bread and butter of my work in the Senate,” said McCaskill in a statement. “I’m thrilled to have a bigger platform and stronger tools to fight for accountability and boost the safety and security of our communities.”
McCaskill will run for her third Senate term in 2018.
Blunt won on Nov. 8 over Democratic challenger Jason Kander in a tough race, 49 to 46 percent. Republican committee posts likely won’t be finalized until January, although Blunt is likely to retain his spots on the powerful intelligence, appropriations and commerce panels.