Mitch McConnell to step down from Republican Senate

Mitch McConnell, the US Senate’s longest-serving Republican leader, has announced he is stepping down from his leadership position in November. The Kentucky politician said it was “time to move on” in his address to the Senate on Wednesday.

Mr. McConnell has proven key to passing conservative priorities and electing Republicans to Capitol Hill. But he has fallen out with Donald Trump in recent years and feuded with him over his falsehoods about his election.

Mr McConnell, 82, has suffered several health scares in the past year, though his staff say that has nothing to do with his decision. He twice froze when speaking during press conferences in the past year, and he suffered a concussion after falling at a hotel in Washington.

McConnell’s health has been in the headlines over the past year.

McConnell has suffered a string of high-profile health incidents over the past year.

In March, he was treated for a concussion after a fall at a hotel in Washington, DC.

Several months later, McConnell experienced episodes where he briefly appeared to freeze up on two separate occasions while speaking with reporters, incidents that sparked questions and concern over the Kentucky Republican’s health and fitness to lead the Senate Republican conference.

McConnell on Wednesday said his decision to step down came following the death of his wife Elaine Chao’s youngest sister, Angela, in a traffic accident earlier this month.

“As some of you may know, this has been a particularly difficult time for my family. We tragically lost Elaine’s younger sister, Angela, just a few weeks ago. When you lose a loved one, particularly at a young age, there’s a certain introspection that accompanies the grieving process. Perhaps it is God’s way of reminding you of your own life’s journey to reprioritize the impact of the world that we will all inevitably leave behind,” he said.

Mr. McConnell remains the last member of the congressional Republican leadership not to endorse Mr. Trump’s re-election bid, although there were recent reports that reconciliation was being brokered.

His announcement on Wednesday may put an end to those discussions. It may also be viewed as a decision by the veteran politician that mending fences with the man who frequently belittled him was a step too far.

But the Senate minority leader did not suggest his party’s ideological changes or Mr. Trump were the reasons for his decision to leave the leadership post, nor did he give any other motivating factor beyond a passing reference to the death of his wife’s sister.

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