LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell is now the Senate's longest serving GOP leader.

McConnell began his Senate career in 1985. As of June 12, 2018, he has led Senate Republicans for 11 years, 5 months and 10 days.

Former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas previously held the title.

McConnell says the last 16 months have been the single-best period for conservatives since he came to Washington.

McConnell said he decided to cancel the usual summer getaway "due to the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats of the president's nominees." He also cited his goal of passing the annual appropriations bills before the end of the fiscal year, on Sept. 30.

In April, McConnell introduced the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery through Effective Employment and Reentry or CAREER Act. McConnell said the bill will deal with both the economic and human cost of the opioid crisis.

Earlier this year, Senator McConnell announced plans to introduce the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 to the Senate along with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and a bipartisan group of Congress members. The bill seeks to remove hemp from a list of controlled substances and make it an agricultural commodity.

Copyright 2018 WDRB News. All rights reserved.