NOW: Bye-Bye Mitch!

( – To the delight of Democrats and even many Republicans, it’s time to say goodbye to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as he announced he would step down from his leadership role later this year.

Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell, who recently turned 82, shared, “Father Time remains undefeated” and “it’s time for the next generation of leadership.” McConnell, the longest-serving Senate party leader in history, plans to leave his position at the end of this Congress in early January 2025.

During his announcement McConnell expressed deep appreciation for his time since arriving in the Senate in 1985, stating, “The end of my contributions are closer than I prefer.” He reflected on his years in the Senate, noting they “helped shape (his) view of the world” but also acknowledging his feeling of being out of place in the current political world.

McConnell emphasized his commitment to the nation’s role as a global leader and his efforts to pass a national security package earlier this month. However, his collaboration with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on a foreign aid and pro-migration package which did not win majority support among Senate Republicans highlighted a growing disconnect with his party.

“Believe me, I know the politics within my party at this particular moment in time,” McConnell said. “I have many faults. Misunderstanding politics is not one of them.” He cited Ecclesiastes, “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven,” to underscore his decision to move on. “So I stand before you today, Mr. President and my colleagues, to say this will be my last term as Republican leader.”

Despite health concerns including falls and episodes where he was unable to move or speak McConnell has vowed to complete his Senate term which ends in January 2027. “I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. I’ll complete my job my colleagues have given me until we select a new leader in November and they take the helm next January. I’ll finish the job that the people of Kentucky hired me to do as well, albeit from a different seat. And I’m actually looking forward to that.”

Some colleagues like Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) question the timing of McConnell’s departure urging for immediate leadership change. Nevertheless McConnell plans to lead through the November elections with Senate Republicans set to select new leadership for the next Congress afterward.

“I still have enough gas in my tank to thoroughly disappoint my critics” McConnell remarked.