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.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.