On March 9, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., suffered a serious concussion after a fall, and the elderly 81-year-old took a five-week absence from the Senate while recovering.
In Washington, some insiders reportedly expected McConnell to finally retire for his own health.
But on Thursday, McConnell’s team addressed the retirement rumors and vowed that the six-term senator “is not going anywhere.”
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An aide to McConnell used those exact words in a statement to The Washington Times. Other aides expected McConnell’s reappearance to nix the retirement speculation.
McConnell’s office tweeted Thursday, “I am looking forward to returning to the Senate on Monday. We’ve got important business to tackle and big fights to win for Kentuckians and the American people.”
I am looking forward to returning to the Senate on Monday. We've got important business to tackle and big fights to win for Kentuckians and the American people.
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) April 13, 2023
The Senate went into Easter recess on March 31, and it’s set to reconvene Monday… with or without McConnell.
McConnell isn’t the only one planning to return Monday.
Sen. John Fetterman, D-Penn., checked into a hospital so long ago that he’s missed more than half of his Senate career. Yet, Fetterman is also finally planning to return Monday.
Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is reportedly recuperating at home after her hospitalization. The elderly lawmaker has given no timeline for her return to the Senate, and she has requested a temporary substitute to replace her on the powerful Judiciary Committee.
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McConnell remains the oldest party leader in Congress.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is about two years older, but Pelosi resigned as party leader in January to become a rank-and-file member of Congress. So did her two longtime deputies: Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Jim Clyburn of South Carolina.
McConnell has suffered from numerous health issues in the recent past. Since surviving polio as a child, he has reportedly acknowledged some mobility problems in his advanced age, and in 2003 he underwent surgery to bypass two blocked arteries.
Since the midterm elections, McConnell has seen challenges to his leadership. In November, McConnell bested Florida Sen. Rick Scott in the election for Senate Republican leader.
“I’m not going anywhere,” McConnell told reporters in November after defeating Scott.
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The Horn editorial team