Democratic U.S. senators elected Chuck Schumer of New York as minority leader on Wednesday, and he tapped former presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders to help Democrats woo blue-collar workers, Reuters reported.
Senate Republicans also met and voted to keep Mitch McConnell of Kentucky as the majority leader.
Schumer is going to replace the retiring Harry Reid of Nevada in the role of top Democrat in the Senate as the party prepares to deal with Republican Trump and Republican majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
Schumer said Democrats had learned from the November 8 election that they needed "a sharper, bolder economic message about returning the economic system which so many feel is rigged against them to one that works for the people."
"We're ready to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Republicans, working with soon-to-be-President Trump on issues where we agree, but we will go toe-to-toe against the president-elect whenever our values or the progress we've made is under assault,"
Schumer, who has been in the Senate since 1999, told reporters after the Democrats' closed-door election.
In a move recognizing the influence of Sanders with many working-class voters, Schumer asked the independent senator from Vermont to be caucus head of outreach. Sanders, who lost the presidential primary to former senator and secretary of state Hillary Clinton, said his job was to reach out to "grassroots America."
In the House, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi announced she was running for minority leader again and said she already has the support of more than two-thirds of her caucus.
Pelosi, who may face a challenger, agreed this week to delay leadership elections until November 30 after her fellow Democrats called for more time to reassess why they fell short of their goals in the November 8 election.