McConnell to Step Down as US Senate Republican Leader in November

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s said on Wednesday he would step down from his leadership role, leaving a power vacuum atop the party he has piloted for nearly 17 years, more than any other party leader in the chamber’s history. 

“I turned 82 last week. The end of my contributions are closer than I prefer,” McConnell said on the Senate floor, his voice breaking with emotion. “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.” 

The Kentucky lawmaker’s departure 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. 

It will also mark the step back of an orderly counterpart to the tumultuous approach of Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, and the hardline House Freedom Caucus ahead of the November election for president, the full House of Representatives and a third of the Senate. 

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