After his latest freezing episodes, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to finish his terms as leader and in the Senate.
McConnell’s Senate term ends in 2026 and his term as Senate Minority leader concludes in 2024.
“I’m going to finish my term as leader, and I’m going to finish my Senate term,” the 81-year-old senator said.
Senator Mitch McConnell after being asked if he will retire: "I'm going to finish my term as leader and I'm going to finish my Senate term." pic.twitter.com/RX8Lz8TXrI
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 6, 2023
McConnell has faced numerous calls to retire after his freezing episodes.
The most recent episode occurred last week during a press conference in Kentucky.
When asked about running for re-election in 2026, McConnell incoherently mumbles something then stares into the distance.
“Did you hear the question senator, running for re-election in 2026?” an aide asked the 81-year-old senator.
“I’m sorry…we’re going to need a minute,” the aide says.
“Sen. Mitch McConnell appearing to have another scary episode in the media gaggle in Covington today. Aides had to step in to help him out and repeat questions. He was eventually lead away,” said WLWT producer Hannah Thomas.
Fox News reported on McConnell’s Wednesday press conference:
McConnell’s appearance is the first in the Capitol following the GOP conference’s weekly luncheon since his first freeze up at the end of July, prior to the Senate’s 40-day recess. McConnell froze up again while answering reporters’ questions in his home state of Kentucky last week.
Some GOP leaders are renewing calls to introduce term-limits legislation while others remain supportive of the longtime Republican lawmaker.
“Mitch talked about his health history,” Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., told reporters after the luncheon. “He went over the tests he’s had, said he’s been given a clean bill of health, indicating he’s had two of these episodes. And both of them happen at press conferences.”
“And otherwise, he worked hard in August and raised about $49 million,” Kennedy added.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told reporters, “I feel really good behind Mitch.”
“Let’s move forward,” he said.
A U.S. Capitol doctor ‘medically cleared’ McConnell to continue working last week.
Brian Monahan, the attending physician for the U.S. Capitol, said he “conferred” with the 81-year-old senator’s neurology team and determined that “he is medically clear to continue with his schedule as planned.”
“I have consulted with Leader McConnell and conferred with his neurology team. After evaluating yesterday’s incident, I have informed Leader McConnell that he is medically clear to continue with his schedule as planned. Occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration,” Monahan said in a statement.