‘Weaponized His Leadership’: Insurgent Senate GOP Forms Post-McConnell Plan

by HENRY RODGERS at dailycaller.com

A number of Senate Republicans are fed up with the way their leader, Mitch McConnell, handled his job, and they have confidence his potential replacements will bring change.

The Daily Caller interviewed numerous Senate Republicans and allies who say there is a general consensus that the closed-off, McConnell-operated leadership style is a thing of the past. They say a majority of the Senate GOP believes it is time they all start working together.

McConnell announced in late February that he will be stepping down as Senate Republican leader in November. The Kentuckian said he will serve out his term, which ends in January of 2027, “albeit from a different seat in the chamber.” His announcement came after facing growing criticism in recent months after working with the pro-Ukraine wing of the GOP to try to pass more aid for the country without getting border security concessions from Democrats.

Since McConnell’s announcement, Texas Sen. John Cornyn and South Dakota Sen. John Thune have said they will be running to become the next Senate GOP Leader. Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott, who challenged McConnell for the leadership position in 2020, is also considering a run for the job.

Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson told the Caller the anti-establishment wing of the party hasn’t settled on a candidate, but talks are ongoing: “No, we’ve had discussions, but I’ll leave it at that. We were having discussions before leader McConnell announced his intention there. I mean, I think I was surprised. I wasn’t expecting that. But, again, I appreciate the fact that he did give us that heads up. So we have this time.”

“From my standpoint, I’ll sing the praises of Rick Scott. He’s shown leadership. It was his tenacity that continued to schedule meetings with House members, week after week after week, really got us by the debt ceiling impasse. I’m not sure he gets enough credit for that,” Johnson continued. “It was Rick Scott who just week after week, even though we’re making no progress, continued to hold those meetings and had the leadership skill to track House members. And that was the final result. So he’s done that.”

Both Thune and Cornyn have voting records that resemble McConnell’s. They have voted for most continuing resolutions and omnibus bills with McConnell, however they voted against controversial spending bills such as the inflation reduction act, and the small business COVID relief act of 2022 during the last Congress.