McConnell celebrates milestone as Senate Dems retain power

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats will declare the Senate majority once more on Tuesday, however a lot of the chamber’s focus is on the highest Republican as Mitch McConnell turns into the longest serving Senate chief in historical past.

McConnell, 80, will surpass Montana Sen. Mike Mansfield’s report of 16 years as occasion chief when the Senate convenes noon for the brand new Congress. Whereas the Kentucky Republican has acknowledged he would like his personal occasion to be taking cost — “the bulk is best,” McConnell regularly says — he’s celebrating his personal private milestone with a speech wanting again at Senate leaders and their completely different kinds over the a long time.

And Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., cements a legacy of his personal after successful a second time period as chief. Democrats will go into the brand new Congress with a 51-49 majority, with newly Impartial Sen. Kyrsten Sinema receiving her committee assignments from Democrats.

The celebratory Senate proceedings will likely be in marked distinction to a chaotic begin for the brand new Republican Home majority throughout the Capitol, the place Republican Chief Kevin McCarthy is preventing to turn into speaker amid contentious inner strife in his personal occasion. McConnell, his occasion’s chief since 2007, simply dismissed the same problem from inside after the November midterms, and, like Schumer, begins the brand new 12 months with sturdy assist from his caucus.

In praising the tenure of Mansfield, a Democrat who led his occasion within the Senate after Democrat Lyndon Johnson resigned to turn into vice chairman in 1961 and served till 1977, the ever-restrained McConnell will trace at his personal long-term technique — a distinction to the bombast and chaos throughout the Capitol.

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“There’ve been leaders who rose to the job by means of lower-key, behind-the-scenes kinds; who most popular to concentrate on serving their colleagues somewhat than dominating them,” McConnell will say, based on an excerpt of the speech launched Tuesday morning, and that “is how Senator Michael Joseph Mansfield of Montana grew to become the longest-serving Senate Chief in American historical past till this morning.”

Like President Joe Biden, each Schumer and McConnell will open the 12 months pledging to work throughout the aisle — and all three should discover methods to work with the brand new Home majority to maintain authorities working. McConnell will make a uncommon look with Biden in his house state of Kentucky later this week to focus on almost $1 trillion in infrastructure spending that lawmakers accepted on a bipartisan foundation in 2021.

Additionally Tuesday, the Senate will swear in seven new members, 5 Republicans and two Democrats. John Fetterman, a Pennsylvania Democrat, is the one a kind of new members who flipped occasion management of his seat, having gained an open seat held by retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. The opposite six new senators are all changing members of the identical occasion.

New Republican senators are Ted Budd of North Carolina, Katie Britt of Alabama, Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, Eric Schmitt of Missouri and J.D. Vance of Ohio.

Vermont’s Peter Welch is the one different new Democrat, changing Sen. Patrick Leahy, who’s retiring after nearly 5 a long time within the seat.

Washington Sen. Patty Murray will make her personal historical past, changing Leahy as the primary lady Senate professional tempore. That place is held by the senior-most member of the bulk occasion and is third in line to the presidency.

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