US Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell hospitalised after fall in hotel

US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell (AP)
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell (AP)

US Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is being treated for concussion in hospital and will remain there for several days, his spokesperson said on Thursday.

Mr McConnell, 81, tripped “at a dinner event” at a hotel but is expected to make a full recovery.

His spokesperson said the Republican “tripped at a dinner event Wednesday evening and has been admitted to the hospital and is being treated for a concussion.

“He is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days of observation and treatment.”

He is one of the most powerful men in Washington who has long drawn the ire of Democrats over his political tactics to block measures his party is opposed to.

Among them is having the Senate refuse to approve the 2016 recommendation from Barack Obama that Merrick Garland become a justice on the court.

With Republicans now holding a narrow 222-213 majority in the House of Representatives, Mr McConnell has so far stayed out of the limelight in the debate over raising the US debt ceiling, leaving talks to Mr Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Mr McConnell has faced other health issues in recent years, including a broken shoulder in 2019 after falling in his Kentucky home.

Currently serving his seventh six-year term, which runs through 2026, Mr McConnell is the third senator to be hospitalised in recent weeks.

Democrat John Fetterman is being treated for depression, while Diane Feinstein, also a Democrat, was discharged to recuperate from home following a bout with shingles.

Mr McConnell served as Senate majority leader from early 2015 to early 2021 and as Senate minority leader since 2021.

Democrats, including three independents who vote with them, currently hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate.

A former judge-executive of Kentucky’s Jefferson County, McConnell has helped steer the federal judiciary sharply to the right, having the Senate speedily confirm Republican nominees.

Several of Mr McConnell’s colleagues wished him well on Thursday.

“Susan and I are keeping @LeaderMcConnell in our prayers and wish him a speedy recovery," Republican Senator Thom Tillis posted on Twitter, referring to his wife.

Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, speaking on the Senate floor, also offered well wishes, saying: “I join every single one of my colleagues in wishing Leader McConnell a speedy and full recovery now.”