Mitch McConnell to exit Senate leadership post: 5 things to know

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will step down from his leadership post in November, multiple news outlets reported Feb. 28. 

The Associated Press initially broke the news of Mr. McConnell's announcement.

He was first elected to the Senate in 1984 and is serving his seventh term. Here are five things to know about Mr. McConnell and his plans: 

1. Mr. McConnell, the longest-serving Senate party leader in American history, announced his decision in a speech on the chamber floor. "One of life's most underappreciated talents is to know when it's time to move on to life's next chapter," he said in remarks from his speech posted on his website. "So I stand before you today … to say that this will be my last term as Republican leader of the Senate."

2. Mr. McConnell's decision comes years before his Senate term is slated to end in January 2027. He said he will complete the remainder of his term. "I will complete my job my colleagues have given me until we select a new leader in November and they take the helm next January," he said.

3. Mr. McConnell, who is 82, has faced health incidents over the past year, according to CNN, including treatment for a concussion after a fall last year and public episodes in which he briefly appeared to freeze up while speaking.

4. Mr. McConnell's decision to step down followed the death of his sister-in-law in a traffic accident earlier in February, he said. "When you lose a loved one, particularly at a young age, there's a certain introspection that accompanies the grieving process. Perhaps it is God's way of reminding you of your own life's journey to reprioritize the impact of the world that we will all inevitably leave behind," he said.

5. Mr. McConnell became the longest-serving Senate party leader in American history in January 2023, according to his biography on his website. He has been elected to lead the Republican conference nine times since 2006 and served as Senate majority leader from 2015 to 2021. 

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