Mitch McConnell, Senate

Mitch McConnell To Step Down As GOP Senate Leader

Looks like there is room for new leadership now...

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced he will step down from his post in November 2024. 

The 82-year-old politician made the announcement on Feb. 28, months after speculation of his deteriorating health began to spark. In 2023, he experienced a severe fall, and the world watched him freeze momentarily in front of the media. However, aides insist his announcement has nothing to do with his health.

“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 said.

“A moment when I am certain I have helped preserve the ideals I so strongly believe. It arrived today.”

McConnell first made his name in politics, arriving in Washington in 1985, and plans to serve out his full term ending in 2027. While he gave no specific reason for the timing of his decision, he admitted to contemplating it for months. Following the death of his sister-in-law, things have been put into perspective.

“The end of my contributions [is] closer than I’d prefer,” McConnell said. “I am unconflicted about the good within our country and the irreplaceable role we play as the leader of the free world.”

Following the announcement, several colleagues from the blue side of the political aisle gave positive well wishes to their colleague. President Biden, who worked with him on legislative deals during the Obama administration, said he was sorry to see him step aside.

“I’ve trusted him, and we have a great relationship,” Biden said. 

“We fight like hell. But he has never, never, never misrepresented anything.”

Democratic majority leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), gave the seasoned lawmaker credit for working in a bipartisan fashion during difficult times in recent years. His leadership secured legislation, including pandemic aid, the certification of the 2020 presidential election, and Ukraine assistance.

“During my years in the Senate, Mitch McConnell and I rarely saw eye to eye when it came to our politics or our policy preferences,” Schumer said. “But I am very proud that we both came together in the last few years to lead the Senate forward at critical moments when our country needed us.”

With no time spent after his announcement, the conversation of who will be next in line for leadership has begun. Names like Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.), former Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), and GOP Conference Chair John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) have been thrown in the ring. If those names don’t work out, Trump supporter RSC Chair Steve Daines (R-Mont.) is also a rumored contender.