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 November 14, 2022

GOP senators look for new leadership following midterm defeat

A group of Republican Senators is making a push to oust Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) from his leadership position, Politico reports

The group, at least, includes Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Rick Scott (R-FL).

The push is being made ahead of the GOP Senate leadership elections that are scheduled to take place on Wednesday.

At the moment, the group of senators is trying to get these leadership elections delayed. Cruz, Rubio, and Hawley have been publicly pushing for a delay through messages released on Twitter, while Johnson, Lee, and Scott are working behind the scenes trying to get other Republican Senators on board.

Part of why these Republican senators want a delay is because the Georgia U.S. Senate race, between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Republican Herschel Walker, has yet to be decided. A runoff election is scheduled for early December.

But, the Republican senators also appear to be seeking a delay in order to give them more time to convince their colleagues to move away from McConnell's leadership.

Rubio suggested as much in a Twitter message, saying:

The Senate GOP leadership vote next week should be postponed. First, we need to make sure that those who want to lead us are genuinely committed to fighting for the priorities & values of the working Americans (of every background) who gave us big wins in states like #Florida.

But, in case there was any doubt, Hawley on Saturday - after Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto's victory, which ensures that the Democrats will maintain control of the Senate - said, "the old party is dead. Time to bury it. Build something new."

The senators have ample reason to move away from McConnell's leadership, including his refusal to actively support a number of Republican Senate candidates in key races in the midterm elections. But, the overall problem that Republicans have with McConnell is that it would seem that he no longer represents their interests.

McConnell, in the background, appears to be trying to head this challenge off, and one of the ways that he is doing so is by trying to force the leadership elections to take place as scheduled on Wednesday. Fox reports that "a Senate GOP aide" confirmed that the elections "will go on as planned."

As things currently stand, it does not appear as if Cruz, Hawley, and the others will have enough support from their fellow Senate Republicans to oust McConnell from his Senate leadership role. All that is needed for McConnell to remain in that position is the support of a simple majority of Senate Republicans, and it does seem that he has that kind of support.

So, it appears as though Republicans looking to move away from the likes of McConnell are going to have to wait a bit longer.

Written By:
Oliver Winters

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