McConnell Facing Difficult 2023 Year

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

2023 is set to be a rough year for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY.).

McConnell is considered the only obstacle to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA.) threats that the U.S. government might default on its debt or a government shutdown may be imminent, as the latter battles with the White House.

McConnell also holds another title — at least, according to Trump — he is public enemy number one, which places the Kentucky Republican in the crosshairs of a McCarthy-led House of Representatives, where Trump still holds significant sway.

Beyond dealing with pushback from Republicans in the House of Representatives, McConnell also has to deal with ambitious GOP Senators in the Senate, who posture against him.

Trump began the year firing shots at McConnell’s decision to support the trillion-dollar omnibus spending package. His criticism of McConnell’s decision echoes those made by the very same Republicans who held up McCarthy’s ambition to hold the Speaker’s gavel, requiring 15 ballots before McCarthy finally became House Speaker.

This spells trouble for McConnell.

The Senate Minority leader will have to navigate GOP opposition while he steers Republicans in the Senate to a comeback in the 2024 elections.

It’s a bit of déjà vu for McConnell, as he will likely be the point person for Democrats in the Senate as they try to avoid a government shutdown or raise the debt ceiling. In 2011, McConnell brokered a similar deal with then-Vice President Biden.

Former Senator Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) believes McConnell will once again become the “responsible individual on the Republican side who’s going to make the government work.”