Republican Senators Demand GOP Leadership Vote Be Postponed After Midterm Failures

Republican Senators Demand GOP Leadership Vote Be Postponed After Midterm Failures
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) addresses reporters following a weekly Republican policy luncheon as (L-R) Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) look on in the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 5, 2021. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

Following worse-than-expected Republican gains in Congress, several Republican senators called on the GOP’s leadership vote next week to be postponed.

“The Senate GOP leadership vote next week should be postponed,” wrote Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee and who recently won reelection, on Friday morning.

“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,” Rubio wrote on Twitter.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), meanwhile, agreed with Rubio’s assertion by saying that “I don’t know why Senate GOP would hold a leadership vote for the next Congress before this election is finished,” before pointing to the runoff election in Georgia between Republican candidate Herschel Walker and Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.). That election will be held on Dec. 6.

Republicans are currently at 49 seats to Democrats’ 48. The GOP needs to pick up two seats in order to gain the majority, as a 50–50 Senate gives Democrats the advantage because of Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking capability.

In Nevada, vote-counting was still ongoing as of Friday. Republican candidate Adam Laxalt is leading Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) by about 1 percentage point, although Laxalt told Fox News that he believes the remaining votes will break in favor of him.

For the Republican leadership race, it’s not clear who might challenge current Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has led the GOP in the upper chamber for decades. Other leaders in the Republican Party include Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.C.), Conference Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Senatorial Committee Chairman Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and Policy Committee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Blunt is retiring after the current congressional session ends in 2023.

McConnell has faced significant criticism from other Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, in recent years for what they say are questionable decisions. They have argued that he did not pour enough campaign funding into GOP candidates such as Blake Masters in Arizona and Don Bolduc in New Hampshire.

Earlier this year, McConnell claimed that “candidate quality” was an issue for Republicans running for Senate. Around the same time, the GOP leader indicated that he will run for reelection for the next congressional session.

Asked if he will be reelected as leader, McConnell told Fox News: “Well, look at it this way: I have been elected eight times without opposition. If I have an opponent—I don’t own this job, and there’s always an election every two years for leader—if anybody wants to challenge me, have at it.”

And when McConnell was asked, “If you don’t win the majority, are you still going to be leader?” he replied, “I am.”

He’s also faced backlash from Trump for what some have said is capitulation to Democrats in the Senate. Trump said that the GOP leader should be “impeached” if he doesn’t use the debt ceiling to Republicans’ advantage.

“It’s crazy what’s happening with this debt ceiling. Mitch McConnell keeps allowing it to happen. I mean, they ought to impeach Mitch McConnell if he allows that,” Trump said in a recent interview. “Frankly, something has to be—they have something on him. How he approves this thing is incredible.”
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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