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Business News/ News / McConnell to Step Down as Senate Republican Leader Post-Election
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McConnell to Step Down as Senate Republican Leader Post-Election

Republican Mitch McConnell will step down as his party’s leader in the Senate after the November election, he said.

McConnell to Step Down as Senate Republican Leader Post-ElectionPremium
McConnell to Step Down as Senate Republican Leader Post-Election

(Bloomberg) -- Republican Mitch McConnell will step down as his party’s leader in the Senate after the November election, he said. 

McConnell, 82, a fixture in the Senate since 1985 and the chamber’s longest-serving party leader in history, has led Senate Republicans for more than 17 years. 

“Father time remains undefeated. I am no longer the young man sitting in the back," he said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “It’s time for the next generation of leadership."

McConnell, who is up for reelection in 2026, does not intend to retire from the Senate at the end of the year. 

“I still have enough gas in my tank to thoroughly disappoint my critics," he quipped. 

McConnell has been the last serious bulwark within the party against Donald Trump’s animosity toward US international commitments, including in Ukraine. He also blamed Trump for the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol. 

He has not endorsed Trump in his bid to reclaim the White House but likely candidates to succeed him — John Thune, John Cornyn and John Barrasso — all have. 

The Associated Press was the first to report the news. 

Health Challenges

McConnell has faced health challenges, including a fall and concussion last year and two freezing episodes at news conferences. He is noticeably slower in his movement and his speech. That has accelerated the behind-the-scenes maneuvering by potential successors.

During his tenure, McConnell secured a series of generational wins, including a crucial role in the rightward shift of the judiciary that ended federal abortion rights and spearheaded legislation for numerous tax cuts. 

His power has been underpinned by a political shrewdness that inspired confidence in donors and Senate colleagues, allowing him to fund and build a political machine that helped elect allies. McConnell’s campaign skills were on display again recently, as he logged a recruiting victory: Maryland’s popular former governor, Larry Hogan, announced a run for the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has frequently sparred with McConnell, walked into the chamber to shake the Kentucky Republican’s hand after his announcement. 

(Updates throughout)

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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Published: 29 Feb 2024, 12:00 AM IST
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