Before his election to the U.S. Senate, Schumer served in the United States House of Representatives from 1981 to 1999. He represented New York's 16th congressional district, which was later redistricted to the 10th congressional district in 1983 and to the 9th congressional district in 1993. A native of Brooklyn and graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he was a three-term member of the New York State Assembly, serving from 1975 to 1980.
Schumer was chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 2005 to 2009, in which post he oversaw a total of 14 Democratic gains in the Senate in the 2006 and 2008 elections. Elected Vice Chairman of the Democratic Caucus in the Senate, in 2006, he is the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, behind Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin. In November 2010, he was also chosen to hold the additional role of chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee starting at the opening of the 112th Congress.