As the 118th Congress came to order Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell made history as the longest serving party leader in the United States Senate.
“The greatest honor of my career is representing the Commonwealth of Kentucky in this chamber and fighting for my fellow Kentuckians,” McConnell said on Tuesday. “But the second-greatest honor is the trust that my fellow Republican Senators have placed in me to lead our diverse Conference and help them achieve their goals.”
In a floor speech McConnell paid tribute to the previous Senate leader to hold the record Democratic Sen. Mike Mansfield of Montana.
“This scholarly Montanan was not an exciting idealist who transformed our national discourse, nor a policy entrepreneur who brought to the Leader’s role his own sweeping wish list of federal programs,” McConnell said. “Mansfield made a huge impact through a different road: by viewing the role of Leader as serving others. Well, that and the fact that he always enjoyed big, stable majorities for his side — often well in excess of 60 votes!”
McConnell was first elected into GOP leadership in 2006, and rose to the role of majority leader from 2015 to 2021.
The Kentucky Republican made history in 2018 when he became the longest serving Republican leader in the body, besting Sen. Bob Dole. McConnell was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1984.