Mike Lee says Mitch McConnell needs to step down

By Jen Krausz on
 February 13, 2024

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) is among a small group of Senators calling for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to step down from his leadership post after the back-to-back failure of two major bills that got some bipartisan support but not enough to pass.

When asked why he wanted McConnell to step down, Lee said:

Look, Republican senators are not part of some feudal system. We each are represented to — we’re each representing our own states. And in occasion after occasion, bill after bill, we have seen Senate Republican leadership joining ranks with all or most Democrats, sharply dividing Republicans, actively alienating most Republican voters and taking a different position than most Republican senators in order to enact Democratic priorities and things that unite the Senate Democratic conference.

Lee said it wasn't anything personal against McConnell but that he didn't want to see these party-splitting tactics happening anymore.

"We do have to deal with this issue because this is how we alienate our voters. This is how we lose elections that should be won," he said.

There will be "brand confusion" if Republicans keep giving Democrats opportunities to divide and attack them, then blame them for failing to pass bills, Lee asserted. McConnell has failed to be aware of just how much Republicans are willing to compromise.

"And the voters who we need to show up to vote for Republican candidates in Senate races all over the country are going to be less likely to do that if they can’t tell which team is responsible for what policy," he concluded.