Since Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY.) was hospitalized with a concussion after a nasty fall nearly two weeks ago, Senate Republicans are starting to question how much longer McConnell will be the head of Republicans in the Senate.
McConnell hasn’t issued any official statement about a return, but current speculation puts him back in the Senate in mid-April, following the two weeks the Senate takes over the Easter or Passover period.
Republican Senators, who spoke anonymously, also commented on the climate arising from McConnell’s absence.
One Senator recalled some Senators “half-jokingly” revealing they were counting votes to ascertain if they had enough to replace 81-year-old McConnell.
The same Senator also suggested that McConnell’s absence was reminding Congressional Republicans that McConnell was unlikely to remain the GOP leader of the next decade.
The Senator described the circumstances as a “state of limbo,” revealing none of the Senators “really knows what the situation is, and nobody knows how long he’ll be gone.”
Last week, another GOP Senator expressed concerns about the GOP’s Senate Conference, querying “who would be our next leader” when referencing McConnell possibly nearing retirement.
The question of who would replace McConnell is especially weighty, considering many are concerned that without McConnell at the reigns, the already MAGA-leaning base would become an avenue for Trump to rubberstamp his ideologies.
Before his injury, McConnell was working with several Senate candidates through the Senate Leadership PAC to shape the Senate GOP Conference into a Trump influence-free area and ensure the most likely candidate to win the election is the candidate that wins in the GOP primaries.