McConnell will run for another term as leader despite Trump’s attacks

( )- The Republican Party is not going to experience a shakeup at the top of the leadership chain in the Senate.

On Tuesday, Mitch McConnell announced he would run for yet another term as the leader of the Republican Party in the Senate. Right now, he’s serving as the minority leader, though that could change if the GOP is able to regain control of the upper chamber following this year’s midterm elections.

Reporters asked McConnell how long he planned to hold onto his position as the leader of the party, and he said:

“I’m going to be running again for leader later this year.”

There was some doubt about whether McConnell would want to run again or whether he’d step aside and let someone else take the reins. He has been the target of wrath thrown around by former President Donald Trump, who feels the GOP leader hasn’t done enough to support him and his cause.

Most recently, Trump criticized McConnell for voting in favor of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which totaled $1 trillion, as well as allowing Democrats to increase the debt ceiling on their own through a simple majority vote.

Despite the pressure that Trump has put on him, McConnell said he has no plans on stepping aside from leadership any time soon. Next month, the senator from Kentucky will turn 80 years old.

Assuming that McConnell is indeed re-appointed to his position as the GOP leader in the Senate, he’ll likely return with his top deputy, too. That’s because South Dakota Senator John Thune, who serves as the Republican whip, announced last weekend that he would run for re-election.

That means that the GOP leadership in the Senate would likely remain in place through the end of 2024, when Thune would have to step aside as whip. There are term limits for all leadership posts in the Senate Republican Conference, though the rules don’t apply to the top leader in the party.

McConnell won’t have to face re-election again until 2026. He last won re-election in 2020 over Democrat Amy McGrath, a race he dominated by almost 20 points. This is McConnell’s seventh term in the Senate.

The GOP Senate leader hasn’t directly addressed his relationship with Trump, saying instead that he’s focused on fighting against President Joe Biden’s social spending agenda, and helping Republicans win back control of the Senate.

Still, some members of his party have questioned whether any Republican would be able to lead effectively if they don’t have a strong relationship with Trump. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina senator who is a close ally of the former president’s, said recently that Republican leaders in Congress need to have “a working relationship with Donald Trump [or] you cannot be effective.”

That’s something that McConnell is likely to have to face in the coming years, especially if Trump were to decide to run for another term in the White House come 2024.