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The meeting got under way in the Mansfield Room just after 9:30 a.m.; all Republican leadership positions for the 112th Congress will be cemented, according to a senior Republican Senate aide.
The entire GOP leadership team is expected to stand for another two years. Minority Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Policy Committee Chairman John Thune (S.D.) and Conference Vice Chairman John Barrasso (Wyo.) are expected to retain their posts without opposition.
McConnell’s nominating team is noteworthy: Rubio is viewed as one of the freshman rising stars, while McCain — the 2008 presidential nominee — has often clashed with McConnell on issues such as campaign finance reform.
Senate Democrats were meeting simultaneously to elect their leaders in the Old Senate Chamber.