"Too many hypotheticals," the Illinois Democrat said, when asked whether he was prepared to pick up the slack for Murray. "I'm helping the DSCC."
Schumer, the Democratic Conference vice chairman and a fundraising powerhouse, is also contributing, according to a senior Democratic Senate aide.
Before the August recess, Murray and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) asked Schumer to help them to bolster the DSCC's fundraising. New York's senior Senator agreed to make phone calls at committee headquarters once a week, with last Wednesday constituting Schumer's first tour of duty on the phones since he agreed to help. Schumer is also headed to South Carolina at the end of September for a weekend fundraiser.
Murray is expected to co-host with Reid the DSCC's Annual Fall Reception on Tuesday evening, shortly after presiding over the super committee's first hearing, according to the Sunlight Foundation. Tickets run $1,000 for the reception at D.C.'s National Museum of Women in the Arts.
The Conference is indebted to Murray for accepting a second run at the DSCC — she was chairwoman in 2002 — after Reid failed to persuade anyone else available to take the job.
Murray has been widely praised by her colleagues for her direction of the DSCC thus far, which has included an overhaul of the committee's fundraising programs. Among those Members helping her raise money have been Sen. Kay Hagan (N.C.), who is serving as chairwoman of the DSCC's Woman's Senate Network fundraising program, and Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Chris Coons (Del.), Al Franken (Minn.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.).
Although Murray does not have a vice chairman, others who were in her position have.
In Schumer's second stint running the DSCC, during the 2008 cycle, he appointed Sen. Bob Menendez as his vice chairman; the New Jerseyite went on to lead the committee in 2010. Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) has served as vice chairman of the NRSC since the 2008 cycle, with Cornyn recently appointing failed 2010 California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina as a second vice chairwoman. Menendez did not have a vice chairman, although he did receive quiet help from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and a few others.
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS' targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify and caused a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking the right.
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