Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) on Tuesday officially became the longest-serving Senate leader in history after 16 years. Previously, the record was held by the late Sen. Mike Mansfield, a Democrat from Montana. McConnel is planning on commemorating the occasion by giving a speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday. In the speech, he is expected to discuss and celebrate some of the leadership styles of his predecessors, such as Sen. Joseph Taylor Robinson (D), of Arkansas, and Kentucky Sen. Alben Barkley (D).
In prepared remarks, McConnell said that representing the Commonwealth of Kentucky has been “the greatest honor of my career” and that he is going to continue working for Kentuckians. He added that the second greatest honor was to be allowed to lead the Conference and help have their goals achieved.
McConnell, who is currently 80 years old, was first elected to the Senate in 1984 and gained the party leadership position in 2007. Previously he had also served as the Senate GOP whip from 2003 to 2007 under former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.).
McConnel served as the Senate majority leader from 2015, after picking up 9 Senate seats in the 2014 midterm election, until January 2021 when Republicans lost two run-off elections in Georgia. Many GOP senators blamed Trump for the loss after Trump continuously claimed that the presidential election had been stolen.
McConnel has built up his reputation as someone who has repeatedly blocked the Democratic agenda with filibusters and other tactics while keeping the Republican senators united.
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