Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refuses to step down as Senate minority leader after recently suffering a concussion and two subsequent incidences where he appeared to freeze.
“I have no announcements to make on that subject,” McConnell said during a press conference on Wednesday.
When asked if he plans to retire, McConnell replied, “I’m going to finish my term as leader, and I’m going to finish my Senate term.”
McConnell dodged questions about his concussion in March, referencing his physician’s claims about his health.
“I think Dr. Monahan covered the subject fully … I don’t have anything to add to it,” he said.
Attending Physician Brian Monahan claimed McConnell’s recent freezing events were “not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration.”
It is “an inadequate explanation to say this is dehydration,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said, arguing McConnell showed signs of a “focal neurologic event” during his latest freeze.
“It doesn’t mean he can’t serve, but it means that somebody ought to wake up and say, ‘Wow, this looks like a seizure,’” Paul said.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said Wednesday that McConnell should “absolutely” not remain the GOP minority leader in the Senate following his freezing episodes.
“My view is that 2024 is an awfully important election for Republicans; we should have taken back the Senate last year; we didn’t,” he said. “This is our shot to take it back. I just hope we’re going to be focused on that.”
McConnell, 81, is the longest-serving party leader in Senate history. He overcame ten Republican “no” votes in November to remain minority leader.
The votes against McConnell marked the first time he had received “no” votes as Senate leader, a sign the GOP had begun to turn against his establishment agenda.
McConnell’s political position has remained consistent over time, infuriating many critics. Under McConnell’s Senate leadership, the national debt rose nearly $20 trillion, illegal immigration surged, and real wages for American workers have not grown. Obamacare was enacted in 2010. Congress bailed out big banks in 2008, and social media companies silenced individuals without repercussions.