McConnell to Step Down as Senate GOP Leader

( – Mitch McConnell, who has served as Senate leader since 2007, has announced that he’s stepping down from his position as Senate Minority leader in November of this year.

McConnell, who celebrated his 82nd birthday on February 20th, is the longest serving leader in the Senate’s history. He announced that this would be his last term as the Republican leader in the Senate on Wednesday, February 28th, saying he know it was “time to move on” to his next chapter in life. He did say he plans to finish out his term in the Senate, which lasts until 2027.

Many members of the Senate seemed taken by surprise by McConnell’s decision, who has given no public indication that he was planning to retire. At the end of his remarks, members of both parties gave McConnell a standing ovation.

There have been increasing calls for McConnell to step down after two public instances where McConnell froze up while speaking. The episodes occurred after McConnell suffered a concussion after a fall, leading many to speculate that his cognitive abilities are suffering. However, McConnell did not mention his health during his speech, and aides for the Senator claim his decision is unrelated to his health or cognitive issues.

The Senate Leader’s relationship with some members of his party has grown contentious as of late due to McConnell’s estrangement from former President and likely Republican candidate, Donald Trump. Their relationship, previously amenable, became hostile when McConnell refused to back Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was stolen by President Biden. Their dispute only got worse after McConnell criticized Trump after the events of January 6th, 2021. In a recent town hall with Fox News, Trump said if he won a second term as president, he didn’t know if he could work with McConnell again.

In addition to being the longest-serving Senate leader, McConnell is also the longest-serving Senator to represent the state of Kentucky, having held the position since 1984.

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