McConnell to Step Down as Senate Republican Leader

By Mary Margaret Olohan Published on February 29, 2024

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will step down from his position in November, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

The 82-year-old senator will announce the decision on Wednesday, the publication reported. He will have been the longest-serving Senate leader in United States history.

“One of life’s most underappreciated talents is to know when it’s time to move on to life’s next chapter,” McConnell will say in prepared remarks, which were obtained by The Associated Press. “So I stand before you today … to say that this will be my last term as Republican leader of the Senate.”

“As I have been thinking about when I would deliver some news to the Senate, I always imagined a moment when I had total clarity and peace about the sunset of my work,” McConnell will add. “A moment when I am certain I have helped preserve the ideals I so strongly believe. It arrived today.”

McConnell spoke on Wednesday afternoon in the United States Senate where he called for “the next generation of leadership.”

“I have full confidence in my conference to choose my replacement and lead our country forward,” he said, describing himself as “immensely proud” of the accomplishments he has played “some role in obtaining for the American people.”

He will serve out his Senate term, “albeit from a different seat in the chamber,” until January 2027, the AP reported.

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McConnell has faced pressure in recent months for his handling of a variety of issues, most notably Ukraine aid and the border security deal. In interviews with The Daily Caller, Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee, and Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott all deeply critiqued McConnell in late February.

“It is challenging to negotiate for border security from a position of strength when too many legislators share the Democrats’ conviction that defending Ukraine is more important than defending America,” Lee told the publication.

McConnell acknowledged Republican frustration with him in his remarks on Wednesday.

“Believe me, I know the politics within my party at this particular moment in time. I have many faults. Misunderstanding politics is not one of them,” McConnell said. “That said, I believe more strongly than ever that America’s global leadership is essential to preserving the shining city on a hill that Ronald Reagan discussed. For as long as I am drawing breath on this earth I will defend American exceptionalism.”

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.


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