Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be stepping down from his leadership role in November.

McConnell, 82, is the longest serving Senate party leader in American history. He announced his retirement news in his remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday.

“One of life’s most underappreciated talents is to know when it’s time to move on to life’s next chapter,” McConnell said. “So I stand before you today … to say that this will be my last term as Republican leader of the Senate.”

McConnell said he plans to remain in the Senate until the end of his term in January 2027.

“As I have been thinking about when I would deliver some news to the Senate, I always imagined a moment when I had total clarity and peace about the sunset of my work,” McConnell said. “A moment when I am certain I have helped preserve the ideals I so strongly believe. It arrived today.”

The Senate minority leader was hospitalized in March last year after he suffered a fall. He has froze up during press conferences in the summer of 2023, evoking concern among his colleagues. But McConnell did not mention his health as the reason behind his decision.

He said his family has been through a difficult time after the death of the sister of his wife, former Cabinet Secretary Elaine Chao.

“When you lose a loved one, particularly at a young age, there’s a certain introspection that accompanies the grieving process,” he said. “Perhaps it is God’s way of reminding you of your own life’s journey.”

“The end of my contributions are closer than I’d prefer,” McConnell added.

Following McConnell’s announcement, Utah Republican Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney, released statements.

Lee congratulated McConnell on his “record tenure as leader,” in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, adding, “I hope he chooses to spend the remainder of his time fighting to secure America’s borders and unifying our conference. Republicans must stand together against Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden’s destructive agenda.”

Earlier this month, Lee said Senate Republicans needed new leadership after McConnell came out in support of the border security deal, which included foreign aid to Israel and Ukraine. McConnell has passionately advocated for continuing to support Ukraine, even as many in the Republican Conference voice their opposition.

“I cannot understand how any Republican would think this was a good idea — or anything other than an unmitigated disaster,” Lee said. Former President Donald Trump, the likely 2024 Republican presidential nominee, said he didn’t know if he could work with McConnell because he “gave away trillions of dollars that he didn’t have” and “made it very easy for the Democrats.”

Meanwhile, Romney praised the Senate minority leader for being consistent “in his defense of conservative values, promoting a conservative judiciary, invigorating economic growth, insisting on America’s defense of freedom, and protecting the rights of all Americans.”

“No senator in memory has demonstrated more respect for the institution of the Senate than Leader Mitch McConnell. He has defended it against attack by people from both parties. Leader McConnell’s accomplishments and dedication to conservative principles may have been less recognized and heralded than their due,” Romney said. “The history of the Senate will revere the extraordinary record of its longest-serving Senate leader.”

As CBS News reported, Senate Republicans plan to hold an election for his replacement in November, with the successor taking on the new role in January. Senate Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota, Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, and former GOP Whip John Cornyn of Texas are expected to jump in the race.