Mitch McConnell makes huge announcement on stepping down in Senate

Washington DC - Mitch McConnell, the longest-serving Senate leader ever, announced he will officially step down from his position as Republican Senate Leader this year.

Mitch McConnell, the longest-serving Senate leader ever, announced he will officially step down from his position.
Mitch McConnell, the longest-serving Senate leader ever, announced he will officially step down from his position.  © Collage: CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The 82-year-old revealed his decision on Wednesday in the Senate.

"One of life’s most underappreciated talents is to know when it’s time to move on to life’s next chapter," he said according to the AP. "So I stand before you today ... to say that this will be my last term as Republican leader of the Senate."

He will still serve out his Senate term, ending in January 2027.

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"I'm not going anywhere anytime soon," he added.

Concerns over McConnnell's age and health have been growing amid his concussion after a fall last year, for which he was hospitalized, and two infamous instances where he froze while speaking to reporters and the public.

Aides said Wednesday his stepping down is unrelated to these concerns.

"As I have been thinking about when I would deliver some news to the Senate, I always imagined a moment when I had total clarity and peace about the sunset of my work," McConnell said. "A moment when I am certain I have helped preserve the ideals I so strongly believe.

"It arrived today."

How long has Mitch McConnell been in Congress?

Mitch McConnell has served in the Senate since 1985.
Mitch McConnell has served in the Senate since 1985.  © Chip Somodevilla / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Mitch McConnell became the Republican Party Senate leader in 2006 and has won re-election to the post nine times.

He began serving in the Senate in 1985 as the youngest Republican senator at the time. He is now the third oldest.

"Father Time remains undefeated," the conservative politician said. "I am no longer the young man sitting in the back, hoping colleagues would remember my name. It is time for the next generation of leadership."

"To serve Kentucky and the Senate has been the honor of my life," he added.

Cover photo: Chip Somodevilla / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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