US Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell to step down in November at age of 82 as 'father time remains undefeated'

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has announced he will step down from his leadership role.

Speaking on the Senate floor, the 82-year-old said he was "no longer the young man."

Experts say the announcement will leave a power vacuum atop the party he has piloted for nearly 17 years, more than any other party leader in the chamber's history.

The Kentucky lawmaker played a key role in helping former President Donald Trump cement a 6-3 conservative majority in the Supreme Court.

Mitch McConnell

However, despite this, McConnell has had personal opposition to Trump at times particularly the former President's conduct ahead of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

McConnell also clashed with the former President surrounding his continued vocal support for trying to pass aid to Ukraine in its fight against a Russian invasion over the opposition of hardline Republican opponents.

Speaking in the chamber today, McConnell said: "I turned 82 last week. The end of my contributions are closer than I prefer. Father Time remains undefeated. I'm no longer the young man sitting in the back hoping colleagues remember my name. It's time for the next generation of leadership."

Democrats hold a slim majority in the Senate, with McConnell now serving as minority leader after previously holding the post of majority leader. McConnell said he will not run for Senate Republican leader in November's party elections, meaning he will end his time as leader when a new Congress convenes in January.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

McConnell's departure from the leadership will remove a central character in negotiations with Democrats and the White House on spending deals to keep the federal government funded and avert a shutdown.

His steady command of his caucus stood in contrast to relatively newly minted Republican House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson, who has struggled to lead his thin majority.

Now with Republicans having to elect a new party leader, conservative pressure to hang tough against a moderate spending deal with Democrats could weigh more heavily on the budget negotiations and the leadership election.

McConnell announced his plans on the Senate floor the morning after Trump won the Michigan Republican primary, continuing his sweep toward the party's nomination. A former high-ranking Senate Republican aide said: "I think the Trump chapter reopening is his cue to exit stage left."

More to come...

from GB News

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