A number of conservative lawmakers in the U.S. Senate are demanding a refashioning of its current leadership in the wake of the disappointing results of the midterm elections. Whereas the Senate usually holds internal party leadership elections shortly after Election Day, several members are seeking a delay until after the Walker/Warnock runoff elections in December. They are hoping to elect leaders who they believe will be committed to fighting for the conservative values and priorities of voters and not for the preservation of their own positions in government.
“The Senate GOP leadership vote next week should be postponed,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said earlier Friday on Twitter. “First we need to make sure that those who want to lead us are genuinely committed to fighting for the priorities & values of the working Americans (of every background) who gave us big wins in states like Florida.” (The Daily Signal)
As the senatorial election results continue to be called, established members such as Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and candidates such as Eric Schmitt, who has potentially won the Missouri elections, have expressed lack of confidence in Senator Mitch McConnell, the current minority leader. He has been criticized for his positions on Ukraine funding and spending legislation. The Kentucky senator even faced opposition from former President Trump when he refused to support the President’s claims about the 2020 elections.
At a rally for Schmitt in Springfield, Missouri, Hawley told a gaggle of reporters that he prefers a fresh face for leader, citing disagreements with McConnell on funding Ukraine’s defense against Russia and spending legislation. (Fox News)
The push to delay the leadership vote is being led by Senators Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rick Scott, R-Fla., who, in the wake of weak Republican performance during Tuesday’s midterm elections, believe it is time for the conference to make a serious reflection before the 2024 presidential elections.
“We are all disappointed that a Red Wave failed to materialize, and there are multiple reasons it did not,” the senators wrote. “We need to have serious discussions within our conference as to why and what we can do to improve our chances in 2024.” (The Daily Signal)
Other senators who have expressed no confidence in Senator McConnell’s continued leadership include Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.