Newly elected McConnell ‘hopes’ Obama will ‘work’ with him
Mitch McConnell, unanimously elected chief of the Senate Republicans and the chamber’s majority leader for the upcoming Congress, says he’s ‘very disturbed’ about how US President Obama ‘has proceeded in the wake of the election.’ Duration: 01:04
Newly elected McConnell 'hopes' Obama will 'work' with him
Republicans elect Mitch McConnell as US Senate leader
Senate Republicans on Thursday unanimously elected Mitch McConnell as their chief and the chamber’s majority leader for the upcoming Congress, after the party rode to victory in last week’s midterm elections.
As expected, McConnell will take over from current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at the start of the new congressional session on January 3.
Senate Democrats, meanwhile, re-elected Reid as their leader on Thursday. Reid, 74, has held the post of majority leader since his party won the Senate eight years ago, but must now trade places with McConnell.
McConnell, 72, was re-elected to a six-year Senate term on November 4, when Republicans routed Democrats and seized the Senate majority, along with a tightened grip on the House of Representatives.
“We are eager to work towards bipartisan agreements and to implement real legislative accomplishments,” McConnell said in a brief statement.
The vote took place behind closed doors in the US Capitol, and when McConnell emerged he was beaming along with other Republican leaders.
GOP members also re-elected Senator John Cornyn as the Senate Republican whip and John Thune as Senate Republican Conference chairman.
In a secret ballot, they also chose Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi to helm the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
As head of the party’s top campaign arm, Wicker will be tasked with overseeing campaigns for the cycle running up to the 2016 polls, when Republicans will be defending 24 of the 34 Senate seats up for election.
“I intend to roll up my sleeves immediately to ensure that we have the resources available to preserve our Republican majority,” Wicker said.
McConnell has coveted the role of majority leader for decades. The position will put him in control of the legislative agenda of the 100-member Senate and require close coordination with the top Republican in Congress’s lower chamber, House Speaker John Boehner.