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Katie Britt thanks Mitch McConnell for his service as he announced that this will be his last year as the GOP Leader in the Senate

On Wednesday U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Alabama) released a statement thanking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) for his years of service as the leader of the Senate Republicans. This was in response to the announcement that he will step down from his leadership position at the end of the year.

"Today, we congratulate and thank one of Alabama's greatest native sons. We're incredibly grateful for Leader McConnell's decades of service and leadership for our country," said Sen. Britt. "His legacy is unparalleled in the Senate's history and will long outlast his tenure as Leader. He has always been a consummate statesman and stalwart champion of this venerable institution. I think Leader McConnell said it best-it's time to make sure our next leader will be the majority leader, so we can preserve the American Dream for generations to come."

McConnell, who was born in Alabama, announced that he will not seek another term as the Republican leader in the Senate. He will continue on in the role to the first of January – when his colleagues can pick their next leader.

"One of life's most underappreciated talents is to know when it's time to move on to life's next chapter. So I stand before you today ... to say that this will be my last term as Republican leader of the Senate," McConnell said on the Senate Wednesday surprising many of his Senate colleagues.

"I will complete my job my colleagues have given me until we select a new leader in November and they take the helm next January," McConnell said. "When you lose a loved one, particularly at a young age, there's a certain introspection that accompanies the grieving process. Perhaps it is God's way of reminding you of your own life's journey to prioritize the impact of the world that we will all inevitably leave behind. I turned 82 last week. The end of my contributions are closer than I'd prefer."

McConnell was elected to the Senate in 1984 at age 42 – two years before Alabama sent former Senator Richard Shelby (R) to the Senate. Katie Britt was two years old when McConnell was first elected to the Senate. McConnell passed the late Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D-Montana) over a year ago as the longest-serving party leader in the history of the U.S. Senate.

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