Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Has One Last Chance Before He’s Kicked Out – Here’s Who Could Replace Him

Mitch McConnell - Donald Trump

President Donald Trump continued his multi-day assault on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a Thursday tweet, saying he should “get back to work” on GOP agenda items.

“Mitch, get back to work and put Repeal & Replace, Tax Reform & Cuts and a great Infrastructure Bill on my desk for signing. You can do it!” Trump tweeted on Thursday afternoon.

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The majority of the right side of the isle are already hoping for McConnell’s resignation. Were he to fail accomplishing the things President Trump requested, and truly resign, here are the possible candidates which would replace McConnell.

Obtained by the Daily Sentry:

The Daily Caller compiled seven possible names of Senators who are considered frontrunners to replace McConnell, and some of them may surprise you. Here’s the full list:

John Cornyn

As the number two in GOP Senate leadership, current Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn would be the obvious replacement for McConnell.

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He’s known for taking tough jobs that other senators don’t want and even told Politico in March that the majority leadership position is “something I would be interested in doing.”

Republican leadership positions are term-limited, and Cornyn will be ineligible to continue as majority whip after 2018. He may retire, as many whips do when their terms are up, or look for his time as the top dog.

Thad Cochran

As the second most senior Republican in the Senate, Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi holds a commanding position in the body. He chairs the largest Senate committee, the Committee on Appropriations, overseeing 12 subcommittees.

The Senate leadership position isn’t just about being popular. It’s about wrangling votes, building coalitions, and understanding unique Senate rules to accomplish one’s objectives. A deep understanding of how committees work goes a long way.

Lindsey Graham

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham is one of the most outspoken members of the Republican caucus. He’s polished on the Senate floor and knows how to grab headlines.

He’s not a strong supporter of Trump, but he was quick to disagree with McConnell’s statement that Trump had “high expectations” for passing Obamacare repeal. “I like Mitch, but for eight years, we’ve been saying we’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare. It’s not like we made this up overnight. We have been working on repealing Obamacare all year,” Graham said on Fox News Radio’s “The Brian Kilmeade Show.”

Graham’s short campaign for the presidential nomination in the 2016 cycle indicates that he has ambitions for higher office, but perhaps he would settle for the top job in the Senate.

Orrin Hatch

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch is one of the most senior Republicans, and the second most senior senator in the chamber. While he considered retiring in 2018, he decided to stay to help Trump fight against the ingrained Washington establishment.

Trump was even influential in convincing Hatch to not retire after four decades in the Senate. “His pitch is he needs me,” Hatch said of Trump in March. “Things are going to be just fine.”

As the chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Hatch leads an influential group, but it’s unclear whether he’d consider taking the top leadership position. Hatch expressed complete support of McConnell on Twitter Thursday, calling him the “best leader we’ve had in my time in the Senate, through very tough challenges.”

Chuck Grassley

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley has been in the Senate since 1981. He’s proved adept at attracting co-sponsors on his bills and resolutions, ranking third highest for that particular skill in 2015, according to GovTrack.

The Senate leadership position isn’t about being popular. It’s about wrangling votes, building coalitions, and understanding unique Senate rules to accomplish one’s objectives. A deep understanding of how committees’ work goes a long way.

Grassley chairs both the Committee on the Judiciary and the International Narcotics Control Caucus. He hasn’t been afraid to call out Trump administration policies — like ignoring oversight requests from Democratic senators — which is a key skill in a caucus that wishes to preserve some independence from the president.

Shelley Moore Capito

Having the support of Trump may not be as important as having the respect senators representing Trump supporters, but West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito has both.

Trump endorsed Capito’s Senate campaign in 2014, and though she’s a junior Senator to Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, she would be a key ally to the Trump administration.

John Barrasso

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso is a relatively new senator (he was elected in 2006), but in his tenure, he’s served on an impressive number of committees. He now chairs the Committee on the Environment and Public Works and leads the Senate Republican Policy Committee.

Trump praised Barrasso’s performance on Fox News during the campaign as Trump was working to rally Republicans behind his nomination.

During a press availability, Trump was asked by reporters whether he thinks McConnell should step down as majority leader based on his tweets. Trump responded that if McConnell doesn’t get Obamacare repeal, tax cuts, and infrastructure done, “then you can ask me that question.”

“Well, I’ll tell you what,” Trump said. “If he doesn’t get repeal and replace done, if he doesn’t get taxes done, meaning cuts and reform, and if he doesn’t get a very easy one to get done – infrastructure – if he doesn’t get that done, then you should ask me that question.”

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