Politics

Mitch McConnell Approaches Longest-Serving GOP Senate Leader Status

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will become the longest-serving Republican Senate leader next month.

McConnell will surpass former GOP Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole on June 12, officially making him the longest-serving Republican Senate leader in the history of the upper chamber.

The 76-year-old senator has led the party for 11 years, through the presidencies of former Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and now President Donald Trump and multiple changes in House leadership. (RELATED: McConnell Thinks Putin Call Was A Mistake)

Through it all, McConnell has changed his shell to align with the trajectory of the party. The majority leader has, notably, developed a better personal and working relationship with Trump, after getting off to a rocky start.

The majority leader has spent the better part of the past two years working away to achieve what common ground he can find between Senate Republicans and the White House.

McConnell was able to usher tax reform through the Senate, despite a number of last-minute hurdles that could have killed the bill. His party was unable to repeal Obamacare; however, he notes the number of conservative judge confirmations as a key win. Those confirmations are likely to be McConnell’s long-standing legacy in the upper chamber.

Republicans have a slim 51 seat majority in the Senate, one that McConnell is hoping to keep (and possibly add to) this November election cycle.

Listening to McConnell, the focus for Senate Republicans is picking up seats in states like Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, Montana, North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia and Florida. (RELATED: Bob Menendez In Trouble In New Jersey)

Leadership’s goal is to retain the seats in competitive GOP races — like the vacancy left behind from GOP Sen. Jeff Flake in Arizona — and pick up seats in tight elections, like Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s North Dakota seat.

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