Senate Republicans Back Big Change To Prevent Repeat Of McConnell Era

(Rodger Roundy/Daily Caller) (GETTY IMAGES credits: John Cornyn image by Anna Moneymaker John Thune image by Kevin Deitsch Mitch McConnell by Chip Somodevilla)

Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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A number of top Senate Republicans are signaling support for term limits for their next Leader as Mitch McConnell, 82, is set to step down from the position in November, the Daily Caller has learned.

Since McConnell announced his retirement, Texas Sen. John Cornyn, South Dakota Sen. John Thune and Florida Sen. Rick Scott have announced they are running to be the next GOP Senate Leader. Two of those three, along with several other notable Republican senators, told the Caller they support term limits for the next leader. (RELATED: Mitch McConnell Will Step Down As Senate Republican Leader In November)

Thune’s office was the only of the three leadership candidates to not state where he stands on the issue.

His office referred the Caller to a Politico article that said he’s “open to discussing term limits on the next Republican leader, with a critical caveat that the topic needs to be part of a broader conversation within the Senate GOP.”

Cornyn has stated: “One reason I am running to be the next Republican Leader is because I believe the Senate needs more engagement from all of my colleagues, and that includes the opportunity for any Member to serve in Leadership. I will support a conference vote to change the rules and institute term limits for the Republican Leader.”

Scott told told the Caller that Washington is currently “built on backroom deals and bad politicians getting comfortable, complacent and forgetting that they represent the people that elected them, not DC special interests.”

“Republicans all across America support term limits because it’s common sense and desperately needed,” he continued. “We have a broken system and we need a dramatic sea change and someone with a turn-around background to fix it. I’ve spent my life shaking things up. We need that in Washington right now and it’s why I’m running to be Republican leader.”

Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee hinted that he wanted to see where Thune stood on the matter, as Cornyn and Scott have been clear.

“So far, Rick Scott and John Cornyn have pledged to abide by term limits if elected GOP leader. Can other contenders match that offer, or promise other reforms to the Senate? I look forward to hearing from them,” Lee told the Caller.

Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and John Thune, R-S.D., are seen before a Senate Finance Committee hearing in Dirksen Building titled “The President’s 2019 Trade Policy Agenda and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement,” on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, testified. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and the office of Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis told the Caller they, too, support term limits for the next leader.

“I think it would be a good idea to have term limits,” Rubio told the Caller. (RELATED: ‘Weaponized His Leadership’: Insurgent Senate GOP Forms Post-McConnell Plan)

“Senator Lummis fully supports term limits for the Republican Leader. Senate Republicans have term limits for committee chairs, whip and conference chair, so it only makes sense our party’s leader is term limited as well,” Lummis’s office told the Caller. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: ‘This Is Our Opportunity’ — Top GOP Senators Game McConnell’s Ouster After Botched Border Deal)

Several other Republican Senators, including Mississippi’s Cindy Hyde-Smith, Montana’s Steve Daines, Nebraska’s Pete Ricketts and North Carolina’s Ted Budd either did not respond to the Caller’s inquiry or did not give a firm answer either way on the issue.

McConnell is the longest-serving party leader of all time in the Senate, and has been serving in the Senate since 1984. According to Real Clear Politics, McConnell is rated as Americans’ most disliked political leader, with favorability ratings that are worse than President Joe Biden’s. However, his grip on power within the GOP has remained ironclad for years, dating back to 2007 when he first became leader.