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Facing health questions, McConnell vows to finish his term ending in 2027

WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed questions Wednesday about whether he’ll retire, vowing to serve out his terms as Republican leader and as a senator from Kentucky.

“I have no announcements to make on that subject,” he told reporters when asked if he has any plans to retire soon. “I am going to finish my term as leader and I’m going to finish my Senate term.”

McConnell is on a two-year term as GOP leader, expiring after the 2024 election. His term as a senator expires in January 2027.

The remarks came at McConnell’s first press conference since returning to Washington, and one week after the second of two apparent freeze-ups he’s had while speaking to reporters, which have sparked fresh questions about the 81-year-old senator’s health.

McConnell faced multiple questions about what happened to him in those instances and what his diagnosis is, and referred each time to a letter from Capitol attending physician Brian Monahan, who wrote that there is “no evidence that you have a seizure disorder or that you experienced a stroke, TIA or movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease.” McConnell’s office released the letter Tuesday, and he pointed to it on Wednesday.

“I think Dr. Monahan covered the subject fully. You’ve had a chance to read it. I don’t have anything to add to it,” McConnell said. “And I think it should answer any reasonable question.”

McConnell opened the press availability by touting his support for continuing U.S. aid to Ukraine in upcoming funding legislation, saying he hopes his colleagues will agree with him.

After the leadership press conference, Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., a potential successor, said he doesn’t know whether McConnell will remain GOP leader through 2025 and 2026.

“I don’t have any— I mean, that’s way out there,” Thune told reporters. “Right now we’re just trying to get from week to week, and try and make sure that everything is functioning at the end of the fiscal year, which is just a couple of weeks ahead of us.”

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