What to Know in Washington: McConnell’s Health Spills Into Race

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s health woes risk spilling into the 2024 race, where Republicans face new questions about whether their top tactician and fundraising magnet is up to the task of reclaiming the majority.

The 81-year-old set out this year to block the type of far-right candidates backed by former President Donald Trump who, he says, cost Republicans the Senate in 2022.

McConnell’s (R-Ky.) latest episode — a second public freeze in as many months — comes as he needs to wrestle once again with potentially messy Senate primaries in key states such as Ohio, Nevada, Arizona, and West Virginia.

Source: Bloomberg

The conservative National Review called in an editorial this week for McConnell to step down, saying he has “noticeably aged” in recent months and the two recent incidents affect “his ability to function as the leading representative of his caucus.”

A McConnell ally said the leader has maintained his normal political schedule including phone calls, meetings, and fundraisers since returning to work April 17 following a concussion that sidelined him for weeks. On Thursday alone, he made fundraising calls that brought in over $150,000, a person familiar with McConnell’s efforts said.

Additionally, others point to a fundraiser McConnell attended just hours after his latest episode as evidence that he’s up to the job.

But McConnell’s importance to the party machine, coupled with his visibly increased frailty, begs the question: Can the party’s quarterback maintain through next November the type of grueling campaign pace that has been his hallmark for nearly two decades? Laura Litvan and Steven T. Dennis take a closer look.


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  • At 1 p.m., Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre delivers a briefing alongside National Security Advisory Jake Sullivan.


  • The Senate is back this afternoon to vote on a Federal Reserve nominee.
  • House lawmakers return for floor votes next week.

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Politics, Probes, and 2024

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To contact the reporters on this story: Giuseppe Macri in Washington at gmacri@bgov.com; Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com

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