GOP Faces Uncertainty as Mitch McConnell’s Health Takes Center Stage

( – Upon returning to Washington D.C. during the first week of September, Republican lawmakers had an opportunity to weigh in on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s health concerns. While most believe that the 81-year-old Kentucky senator is capable of carrying the party through the 2024 campaign season, several refused to say if he should continue to lead in the 119th Congress. During a private luncheon on September 6, Senator McConnell provided an update on his condition. He spoke for around eight minutes, declining to answer questions from his colleagues.

Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., spoke to the press after the luncheon, expressing his opinion on the matter. “You can’t have it both ways,” Hawley argued, taking a jab at other Republican senators who consistently question President Biden’s ability to lead the country. He said that his colleagues should have the same level of concern for McConnell as they do for Biden. Hawley repeated the media’s initial question, asking, “Do I think McConnell should be leader? No.” Hawley also opposed McConnell’s nomination for Minority Leader when the 118th Congress began, but his decision to speak up about McConnell’s health is notable. Most senators have refused to entertain the thought of anyone other than McConnell leading the Party. McConnell is particularly experienced when it comes to fundraising, bringing in over $50 million for the GOP in August alone.

A letter from the physician who gave McConnell a clean bill of health was distributed among lawmakers on September 6. The letter contained the results of several additional tests that McConnell underwent to help put an end to widespread speculation as to what caused him to freeze on two separate occasions. On the same day, McConnell made clear that he would be finishing out his term, which ends in 2027. He told the press that he would maintain his leadership position until the 118th Congress concludes. Senators John Thune, R-S.D., and John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said that they support McConnell as Minority Leader, but declined to answer when asked if he should continue as the leader of the Party in 2025.

Copyright 2023,