Sen. Mitch McConnell brushed back his first leadership challenge just hours before Republicans captured the last seat needed to control the House.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell brushed back a leadership challenge from Sen. Rick Scott just hours before Republicans captured the last seat needed to control the House of Representatives.
- The Associated Press called the 218th seat Republicans needed to take the House on Tuesday night, putting the G.O.P. on track for the narrowest House majority of the 21st century after a disappointing midterm election for the party.
- Republicans’ slim majority could be difficult for House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy to wrangle, although Republicans should be able to put a check on President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda.
- Senate Republicans voted Wednesday to reelect McConnell as their leader by a landslide 37-10 margin, with one abstention. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve,” said McConnell after the vote.
- “I’m not going anywhere,” McConnell said. The Kentucky Republican took over as Senate Republican leader in 2007 and will become the Senate’s longest-serving leader in January.
- The Minority Leader crushed his opposition, which included Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Rand Paul of Kentucky, in his first contested leadership race after nearly sixteen years at the helm of the Senate G.O.P. Conference.
- On the Senate floor, 62 senators voted to open debate on legislation to codify same-sex marriage into federal law, with 12 Republicans joining all Senate Democrats to advance the measure. A final vote is expected by the end of the week.
- While congressional Republicans opted for continuity, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem called for a shakeup at the Republican National Committee. Noem “expressed significant skepticism” about Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, asking, “Who loses this much and gets to keep their job?”
- The New York Times dismissed Scott’s leadership bid as “always a long shot.” McConnell supporters told the Times they appreciated the chance “to give a concrete demonstration of [McConnell’s] strong standing within his conference.”
- NBC News noted the slim House majority has created a series of headaches for House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. His rise to the speakership faces an upswell of criticism, imperiling his chances ahead of the January speaker vote.
- President Biden congratulated McCarthy on the Republicans’ victory in a statement, per CNN. The president said he is “ready to work with House Republicans to deliver results for working families” after an election that “demonstrated the strength and resilience of American democracy.”
- Fox News reported Republicans plan to use their newfound majority to investigate Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal, Hunter Biden’s business and legal affairs, and the House Jan. 6 Committee.
- Breitbart noted the 10 votes against McConnell are the first “no” votes he’s ever received as leader, calling it “a sign the Republican Party has begun to turn against his establishment agenda.” Wendell Husebo argued the nation “struggled” under “McConnell’s leadership,” citing the persistence of illegal immigration, Obamacare, social media censorship and the fact that “Dr. Anthony Fauci remains unaccountable.”
- National Review scorned the “shamelessness” of Rick Scott’s “failed Senate rebellion.” Christian Schneider wrote, “Whatever McConnell’s mistakes, it is indisputable that the insurgents who tried to topple him today bear 100 times more responsibility for the party’s current dire straits than McConnell does.”
© Dominic Moore, 2022