Mitch McConnell to Stand Down as GOP Senate Leader

( – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced on February 28 that he would be stepping down from his leadership position in November. The 82-year-old has served in a leadership position for 17 years, the longest in United States history.

Only 12 United States Senators have held leadership positions for more than a decade. McConnell began his tenure in the Senate in 1985. During his announcement on the Senate floor, McConnell said that he had arrived at the moment when he had “total clarity and peace about the sunset” of his work. He also said that he would finish his term, which does not end until January 2027.

McConnell’s Senate aides claimed that his decision to step down was not related to his recent health issues. However, some of his colleagues, including Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley, have argued that it was wrong to scrutinize Biden’s health and ignore McConnell’s. Back in March 2023, McConnell fell and was hospitalized for his injuries, which included a concussion. The fall was reportedly one of several that had occurred in recent months.

After he was discharged from the hospital, he was moved to an inpatient rehabilitation center to recover. Upon his return to the Senate, McConnell suffered two episodes of temporarily freezing while speaking in public. His spokesperson claimed that he was feeling a bit dizzy, but assured the American people that he was still up to the job.

Following McConnell’s announcement, Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn announced his intention to run for GOP leader. He was met with instant rejection online, with “HELL NO” as the top trend on X, formerly Twitter. On March 4, Senate GOP Whip John Thune, R-S.D., announced that he would also seek the position. While former President Trump has urged Republican Montana Senator Steve Daines to run, Daines has publicly indicated that he had no interest. Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso plans to run for GOP whip.

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