Ayotte will be the only female senator at the GOP leadership table.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tapped sophomore Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., on Thursday to be a member of his informal kitchen cabinet of leadership advisers.
In a statement announcing the move, McConnell said Ayotte would serve as “counsel” to the leader, along with Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who will reprise the role he took upon the retirement of longtime McConnell confidant Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., in 2011.
“Sen. Ayotte brings invaluable insight to our conference on issues that affect American families. Firmly committed to getting our fiscal house in order, she will perform a critical role as a member of the Senate Republican Leadership team,” McConnell said in his statement.
Ayotte will be the only female GOP senator at the leadership table. She replaces Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, who retired this year.
A McConnell spokesman explained that the leader likes to supplement the views of his elected deputies — Whip John Cornyn of Texas, Conference Chairman John Thune of South Dakota, Policy Committee Chairman John Barrasso of Wyoming, Conference Vice Chairman Roy Blunt of Missouri and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran of Kansas — with people from outside the leadership.
“He likes to keep fresh voices at the leadership table,” the spokesman said.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters following a vote in the Senate. Gillibrand’s proposal to remove military commanders from the process of reviewing sexual-assault cases was left out of the bicameral deal on the defense authorization bill, but the senator is pushing for a vote on her plan soon.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.