In a statement released by his office, Durbin said he's honored his colleagues are willing to entrust him with the responsibility.
The post of whip is the second ranking job in the Democratic leadership and involves rounding up votes on key issues.
The 59-year-old Durbin says he made his decision after discussing it with Democratic colleagues in the Senate.
He says he looks forward to working with Senator Nevada Democrat Harry Reid, who is running for Democratic leader in the new Senate.
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