By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Jan. 9 announced new Democratic committee assignments. The moves result from December’s one-seat shift to the minority party in the chamber’s balance of power.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland is joining the Environment & Public Works Committee, which authorizes federal highway, bridge, port and waterway funding.

Montana Sen. Jon Tester will serve on the Senate Commerce Committee. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey is moving off the committee, which opens up the top Democratic spot on the subcommittee in charge of surface transportation.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island will serve on the Finance Committee, which oversees tax issues, while newly sworn-in Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, who replaced Republican Luther Strange in a special election, will serve on the Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over transit issues.

Republicans hold 51 seats. The Democrats hold 47 seats, but two independent senators also caucus with the party.