THE GUARDIAN: Mitch McConnell 'plays the long game' to retain some power as it slips away

Monday, January 25, 2021 - 7:45am

For Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, the first few days of Joe Biden’s presidency has not been about fighting the new Democratic majority in government, it’s been about gaming out how much power he now has.

McConnell, the leader of Senate Republicans for over a decade, now finds himself in the position every caucus leader dreads: out of power in the chamber, in charge of a somewhat unruly bunch of politicians, and under pressure over how to handle the impeachment of the last Republican president.

Just as McConnell became the Senate minority leader last week, he was confronted with two pressing concerns: retaining power through early negotiations with counterpart Chuck Schumer, the new Senate majority leader, and figuring out how to proceed on the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, which is set to begin in early February.

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“I think that it’s necessary and it protects both parties,” said Ashlee Rich Stephenson, the political director for the Chamber of Commerce. “And we’re supportive of that.”

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