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McConnell to step down from Senate leadership

Niels Lesniewski and Mary Ellen McIntire, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON — Mitch McConnell, the longest-serving party leader in Senate history, said Wednesday that this will be his final term leading Senate Republicans.

“One of life’s underappreciated talents is to know when it’s time to move on to life’s next chapter. So I stand before you today, Mr. President, and my colleagues to say this will be my last term as Republican leader of the Senate,” McConnell said in a floor speech Wednesday.

McConnell, 82, said he plans to serve the rest of his current term in the Senate, his seventh, which runs until early 2027, but will leave the leadership in the new year.

“I’ll complete my job my colleagues have given me until we select a new leader in November and they take the helm next January,” he said.

 

His announcement comes as Republicans are all but certain to nominate former President Donald Trump to run against President Joe Biden this year. McConnell and Trump had an uneasy alliance during Trump’s first term, before it broke down after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol.

Three of McConnell’s deputies, the No. 2 Senate Republican John Thune of South Dakota, No. 3 Senate Republican John Barrasso of Wyoming and Texas Sen. John Cornyn, a former Republican whip, are all expected to be contenders to replace McConnell.

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