On Tuesday, Sen. Mitch McConnell is expected to set the record for longest-serving Senate leader, even as his House counterpart vie for the speakership.
McConnell is scheduled to give a speech Tuesday afternoon recognizing the new record. He would surpass the late Sen. Mike Mansfield, D-Mont. McConnell has served in the GOP Senate leadership since 2007.
According to Punchbowl News, “Anointed party leaders have been a feature of the Senate for over a hundred years. And no two have done the same job,” McConnell said during his speech.
“Otherwise, there were leaders who rose to office through behind-the-scenes methods; they preferred to serve their colleagues rather than dominate them. Thus … Senator Michael Joseph Mansfield of Montana was the longest. “Until this morning, he served as the leader of the Senate in American history,” he added.
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McConnell narrowly fended off Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., to retain his leadership position last year. Meanwhile, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California faces an uphill battle to win the votes needed to win the speakership on Tuesday.
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McCarthy needs 218 votes to win the post, meaning he can only have five Republicans vote against him. At least 12 have threatened to do so since Tuesday morning.
The California Republican has offered a wide range of concessions to his opponents, including allowing all five House members in the majority party to begin voting to remove the current speaker. Rep. Opponents, such as Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., argue that any representative would have to force such a vote, as is House policy, until former Speaker Nancy Pelosi changes the rule under her leadership.
McCarthy held a final meeting with the GOP conference before lunch on Tuesday morning. Allies say he plans to hold as many votes as necessary until he wins the seat.