Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) on Friday shut down attempts to remove Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) from his leadership position in the Senate by writing a letter Friday to Republican senators denying their request to delay Wednesday’s leadership vote.
Barrasso, one of McConnell’s top lieutenants, wrote a letter Friday to GOP senators denying their request to delay Wednesday’s leadership vote until after all Senate votes had been counted.
“We look forward to meeting next week with our new and returning members. I expect a full and open discussion beginning at Tuesday’s policy lunch on our path forward,” he wrote in a letter obtained by CNN. “On Wednesday we will meet again for our scheduled conference for elections.”
“I welcome the questions and points made in the letter circulated by Senators Rick Scott, Lee and Johnson,” Barrasso, who is in charge of leadership elections, wrote.
Barrasso’s letter comes after Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Mike Lee (R-UT) have voiced opposition to leadership elections until candidates’ dedication to conservative ideas are vetted.
In a second letter circulated Friday among Republican senators, those senators impressed upon their colleagues that “serious discussions” must occur about why the red wave did not materialize.
“We are all disappointed that a Red Wave failed to materialize, and there are multiple reasons it did not,” the letter reads. “We need to have serious discussions within our conference as to why and what we can do to improve our chances in 2024.”
Hawley has been particularly vocal in opposing McConnell’s reelection as the Republican leader. “[I]t’s pretty hard to convince folks, particularly independent-minded ones who don’t tend to trust the process much, to vote for you, if you don’t have something affirmative to say and offer,” Hawley told RealClearPolitics.
“I lay that at the feet of the Washington establishment that set the tone for these races,” he added. “They failed to offer that kind of vision.”
Senate Republicans are scheduled to vote on McConnell as leader on Wednesday. Only eight percent of voters view McConnell favorably, while 80 percent view him unfavorably.
Under McConnell’s tenure, the national debt has soared more than $20 trillion, illegal immigration has continued, real wages for American workers have remained stagnant, Obamacare was enacted in 2010, big banks were bailed out in 2008, and social media companies have silenced individuals without repercussions. Dr. Anthony Fauci remains unaccountable for allegedly twice lying to Congress.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.