House turmoil isolates McConnell

Mitch McConnell has no dance partner in the House. That’s bad news for Mitch McConnell.

The Senate majority leader has made no secret of his strategy to keep control of the Senate next year and win the White House — by demonstrating Republicans can govern responsibly and avoid self-inflicted wounds.

But the House GOP is in disarray, with no clear replacement for retiring Speaker John Boehner. And lawmakers have only a few weeks to navigate a series of fiscal land mines that includes the threat of a catastrophic debt default, another potential government shutdown showdown and a looming highway bill deadline — big lifts in the best of times in the House, let alone a period of major internal strife.

In a series of interviews, GOP senators said McConnell’s steady grip over his conference is going to be even more important in the coming weeks as the House grapples with its leadership void. But, they added, there’s only so much McConnell can do without a reliable partner in the House.

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