U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer acknowledged he and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell, had their political differences but is proud they came together at crucial moments. McConnell announced Wednesday he would step down as the Senate Republican leader in November after nearly two decades running his conference in the Capitol’s upper chamber.

“During my years in the Senate, Mitch McConnell and I rarely saw eye to eye when it came to our politics or our policy preferences,” Schumer said in a statement. “But I am very proud that we both came together in the last few years to lead the Senate forward at critical moments when our country needed us, like passing the CARES Act in the early days of the COVID pandemic, finishing our work to certify the election on January 6th, and more recently working together to fund the fight for Ukraine.”

“I know it’s been a difficult year for him and his family and I wish them the very best,” Schumer added.

The New York senior senator succeeded the Kentucky lawmaker as Senate majority leader after Democrats won the White House and 50 Senate seats in 2021.

Since then, McConnell has voted in favor of some of Schumer’s greatest legislative spearheading efforts during Joe Biden’s presidency, including the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure bill and 2022 CHIPS and Science Act.

The two have expressed similar views in support of aid for Ukraine as the war with Russia there enters its third year. In a statement back in December, Schumer and McConnell released a rare joint statement saying they were both “committed” to reaching an accord on immigration reform in exchange for aid to Israel and Ukraine,” which ultimately turned into a $95.3 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. That package passed the Senate 70-29 but was not taken up in the House of Representatives.

In November, McConnell will be instrumental in transitioning his conference to a new leader while Schumer will be fighting to keep his role as Senate majority leader in keeping Democrats in control of the Senate chamber.


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