Here are the main events that occurred in Politics this week:
1. Senator Leader Mitch McConnel Re-elected Senate Republican Leader Despite Disappointing Midterm Election Performance By Republicans
Mitch McConnell of Kentucky on November 16 overwhelmingly won re-election as his party’s Senate leader, holding off Senator Rick Scott of Florida in the first challenge Senator McConnell has faced since assuming the post in 2007. Despite a disappointing election performance that left them demoralized and still mired in the minority, Senate Republicans stuck with their longtime leader, opting for an experienced hand rather than a change at the top that could add to the post-election turmoil engulfing their party. “I think the most important thing we can do is get these differences behind us,” said Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas and a leading McConnell ally.
2. Nancy Pelois Steps Down As House Democratic Leader
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on November 17 that she will not seek a leadership position in the new Congress, ending a historic run as the first woman with the gavel and making way for a new generation to steer the party after Democrats lost control of the House to Republicans in the midterm elections. In a spirited speech on the House floor, Pelosi announced that she will step aside after leading Democrats for nearly 20 years and in the aftermath of the brutal attack on her husband, Paul, last month in their San Francisco home, and after having done “the people’s work.” The California Democrat, a pivotal figure in US history and perhaps the most powerful speaker in modern times, said she would remain in Congress as the representative from San Francisco, a position she has held for 35 years, when the new Congress convenes in January. “I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” she said. “For me, the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect.” Now, she said, “we must move boldly into the future.”
3. Iran Intensifies Violent Crackdown Against Anti-Government Protestors
Iran’s clerical rulers have stepped up suppression of persistent anti-government protests in the country’s Kurdish region, deploying troops and killing at least four demonstrators on November 20, social media posts and rights groups said. Nationwide protests, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in September in the custody of morality police, have been at their most intense in the areas where the majority of Iran’s 10 million Kurds live. Videos on social media, showed a convoy of military vehicles with heavily armed troops, purportedly in the western city of Mahabad, located in Iranian Kurdistan. The sounds of heavy weaponry could be heard in several other videos. The Norway-based human rights group Hengaw said military helicopters carried members of the widely feared Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to quell the protests in the Sunni-dominated Kurdish city of Mahabad.