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McConnell plans to step down as Senate Republican leader in November

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Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday that he will step down as Senate Republican leader in November, ending his record-setting tenure as the longest serving Senate party leader.

McConnell, who turned 82 this month, announced his decision on the Senate floor.

“I believe more strongly than ever that America’s global leadership is essential to preserving the shining city on a hill that Ronald Reagan discussed,” he said. “As long as I’m drawing breath on this Earth I will defend American exceptionalism.”

McConnell said he plans to serve out the remainder of his term, which ends in January of 2027.

McConnell arrived in the Senate at age 42. He said serving Kentucky in the Senate had been the honor of his life.

“One of life’s most under-appreciated talents is to know when it’s time to move on to life’s next chapter,” McConnell said. “So I stand before you today … to say that this will be my last term as Republican leader of the Senate.”