“Leader McConnell appreciates the continued support of his colleagues, and plans to serve his full term in the job they overwhelmingly elected him to do,” a McConnell spokesperson said in a statement, which was first reported by Politico.
McConnell’s two-year term as Senate GOP leader ends in early January 2025, and beyond that it would be up to his colleagues to decide whether to re-elect him. He became the longest-serving Senate party leader in U.S. history earlier this year.
McConnell, 81, is not up for re-election to his Senate seat in Kentucky until 2026, as he won a six-year term in the 2020 election.
Concerns about McConnell’s health have intensified since Wednesday when he suddenly stopped speaking during a weekly Republican leadership news conference, appearing to freeze, and then went silent and was walked away.
A few minutes later, McConnell walked back to the news conference by himself. Asked about his health, he said he was fine. Asked whether he is fully able to do his job, he said: “Yeah.” His office said he felt lightheaded and stepped away briefly.
But it came after a series of health incidents this year, which began in March when he was hospitalized with a concussion and a minor rib fracture and was discharged days later before he entered rehab. He didn’t return to the Senate, however, until mid-April. Earlier this month, he tripped and fell at a Washington, D.C., airport, NBC News reported Wednesday. He was not seriously injured.
Some GOP senators have said they have personally witnessed changes in the minority leader after he fell and sustained the concussion, although they have publicly expressed their support and well-wishes to him along the way.
None of them have publicly called on him to step aside over the issue, including his foes.