Leahy said he passed on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee so he could stay atop his current panel and thus remain a leading Senate voice on foreign policy.
When it comes to the Defense Subcommittee, Harkin is second to Leahy in seniority on the subcommittee, but a Harkin spokeswoman said Wednesday that he intends to continue as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education.
Durbin ranks next on the seniority list. His office declined to comment on whether he would take the post.
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.