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Schumer Accepts Senator Reids Offer To Sit On Finance Committee, Lead Dscc, And Join Dem Leadership

Opportunity is an offer that for the sake of New York I could not refuse

Schumer commits to keep posts through election cycle; rules out run for any other office in 2006

Senator Charles E. Schumer released the following statement today:

On Election night, I told the citizens of New York that for me, I love New York is not just a slogan or a song. It is my life. Last week, I was offered a onceinacareer opportunity that would allow me to serve even more fully the state and the country I love.

On Wednesday, Senator Harry Reid, who will soon become Minority Leader, invited me to his office and offered me a seat on the Senate Finance Committee, a position in the Democratic leadership, and the chairmanship of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. He stated that to get on Finance I would not have to give up my seats on the Judiciary or Banking Committees. He also told me that he was elevating the role of the DSCC chair to not only be in charge of electing more Democratic Senators, but to be the caucus point person in crafting and spreading the Democratic message.

To me this was a dream offer. Serving on the Finance Committee is something I have aspired to since Pat Moynihan, New Yorks first senator on Finance, retired. Finance has jurisdiction over tax, trade, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. These will be crucial, battleground issues in the upcoming Congress and decade. Given its broad jurisdiction, the Finance Committees importance to New York. and to New Yorkers of all philosophies cannot be overstated.

"Senator Reid's generosity in allowing me to retain my seat on Judiciary would enable me to continue my fight for moderation on the bench at a decisive time when several vacancies to the Supreme Court are likely to occur. By staying on the Banking Committee I would be able to further strengthen one of New York's critical industries, financial services.

"In addition, to serve in the Democratic leadership and to have a key role in crafting Democratic issues and message in the coming years is crucial not only for the good of our own party but for the good of our nation and of our state. We are at a crossroads both internationally and domestically, and to have an enhanced role in figuring out how we as a party and as a nation navigate these shoals is as exciting as it is vital. And the importance to our party of electing more Democrats to the Senate in 2006 is obvious in light of the results of the recent election.

"In short, this was an offer that for the sake of New York I could not refuse. I called Senator Reid last night, telling him I had accepted his offer along with its concomitant commitment that I see the DSCC job through the 2006 election and run for no other office.

"For me, it was not a hard decision. For the last few months I have said repeatedly that the only thing on my radar screen is being a good Senator and delivering for New York. Many were skeptical. But, I've been a legislator for 30 years. It is what I know how to do and what I love to do. I am one of those blessed people who wakes up Monday morning and loves going to work. The new positions Senator Reid offered me should make the job even more productive and exciting. The fact that the Senate has four fewer Democrats is not something to run away from, but a new challenge to be taken on, substantively and politically. It is a challenge I relish.

"On Election Night , New Yorkers from every corner of the state and every philosophy elected me. I promise to all of you, fortified with the new opportunities offered me, I will do all I can to meet the great challenges facing our state and country in the years ahead."