McConnell celebrates milestone as Senate Dems retain power

The celebratory Senate proceedings were in marked contrast to the new Republican House majority across the Capitol, where Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy is fighting to become speaker amid contentious internal strife in his own party.

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National News

January 3, 2023 - 5:52 PM

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (Nathan Howard/Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are again claiming the Senate majority, but much of the chamber’s focus is on the top Republican as Mitch McConnell becomes the longest serving Senate leader in history.

McConnell, 80, surpassed Montana Sen. Mike Mansfield’s record of 16 years as party leader when the Senate convened midday Tuesday to begin the new Congress. While the Kentucky Republican has acknowledged he would prefer his own party to be taking charge — “the majority is better,” he says frequently — he’s celebrating his own personal milestone with a Senate floor speech looking back at party leaders and their different styles over the decades.

And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., cements a legacy of his own after winning a second term as leader and also being sworn in as the longest-serving senator from New York. Democrats will go into the new Congress with a 51-49 majority, with newly Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema receiving her committee assignments from Democrats.

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