Mitch McConnell Responds To Critics in the Senate

Mitch McConnell Responds To Critics in the Senate

( – Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been pushing back against critics from within his own party, according to The Associated Press.

Last week, Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) called for McConnell to step down and for a change of leadership during the Senate Republican’s conference. The call came after McConnell’s deal with Democrats on a bill surrounding border security and Ukraine funding. Lawmakers initially tried to come to a compromise by tying up border measures with foreign aid in a massive package, but the bill fell apart in the Senate soon after it was introduced. The Senate has now passed a smaller package focusing on just foreign aid for nations like Israel and Ukraine, but it’s unclear how well the measure will go over in the House.

The original deal, led by Senator James Lankford (R-OK), reportedly included measures intended to put a stop to the often criticized “catch and release” policy at the border, as well as shut the border down if the number of migrant apprehensions in a day exceeded 5,000. However, many Republicans were in opposition of the bill. At a press conference on February 6, Cruz claimed the deal was “designed to lose.”

During the press conference, Cruz said he thought it was “time for Leader McConnell to go.” He was critical of McConnell’s support for the bill, which ended up failing to advance in the Senate just days after it was unveiled, and said he believed a GOP leader should be pushing forward the “priorities of Republicans.”

Lee also recently called for new leadership in a social media post, calling the border security deal an “unmitigated disaster” and saying he wasn’t sure how any member of the party could support it.

In his interview with AP, McConnell countered these criticisms by saying that lawmakers had a chance to replace him as the Senate Minority Leader in 2022. Only 10 senators opposed his reelection as leader in 2022, including Cruz. However, he was supported by 37 other senators. He is now the longest-serving leader of any party in the Senate. He has said that he is happy to continue serving, although he has not yet confirmed whether or not he will seek the leadership position again after the general elections. His current term ends in 2027.

McConnell responded to issues in the Senate conference by claiming that divisions have always been present. He also said the upcoming presidential election is giving them more prominence. He accused Cruz of learning nothing from the 2013 government shutdown. Cruz played a role in that shutdown by insisting that Congress refuse to fund Obamacare.

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