Chuck Schumer announced his resignation as Senate Minority Leader on October 29th.
Chuck Schumer announced his resignation as Senate Minority Leader on October 29th, following a decision made by the Democratic caucus. The New York Senator had served as minority leader since January 2017 and was widely expected to be replaced by another senator from the state. He has been in the Senate since 1999, when he was elected to fill the seat vacated by Hillary Clinton when she became Secretary of State. Schumer was considered a long shot to become minority leader, given that he represents a state that is largely Democrat and has historically voted for Democrats in national elections.
The Democrat Party had been struggling to regain its footing since 2016’s presidential election and Schumer’s leadership had come under fire after several high-profile losses this year. The party lost two seats in special elections earlier this year and failed to take back control of either chamber of Congress in November’s midterm elections. Schumer also faced criticism for his decision not to filibuster Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, which led many Democrats to question whether he could lead them into 2020.
Why is Chuck stepping down?
Schumer cited several reasons for stepping down, including wanting more time with his family and looking forward to spending time with his grandchildren. He also cited wanting the opportunity to travel around the country campaigning for other Democrats running for office next year. Finally, he said that he wanted new blood at the top of the party and hopes that it will help bring new energy into Washington.
Schumer will remain in office until 2021, when it is expected that either Kirsten Gillibrand or Kamala Harris will replace him.