Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday pledged to fix the Senate if Republicans win the majority this fall.

In a major, 40-minute speech that had clear election-year overtones, the Senate Republican leader assailed the Democratic majority, seeking to tie its policies and reign as the crux of Washington’s dysfunction.

McConnell called on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to shift power back to the committees and allow more votes on amendments. He also called for longer work weeks in the nation’s capital.Reid and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) subsequently headed to the Senate floor to rebut McConnell’s claims.

The Kentucky senator, who is up for reelection in 2014, said his proposed changes would help lift the partisan gridlock that stymied the Senate last year. Democrats, meanwhile, blame the paralysis on Republican filibusters and obstruction.

“My purpose is to suggest that the Senate can be better than it has been, and that it must be if we’re to remain great as a nation,” McConnell said.

The five-term senator sought to flip the Democrats’ 2014 message — which homes in on the need for fairness — on its head.

“If America is to face up to the challenges we face in the decades ahead, she’ll need the Senate the Founders in their wisdom intended, not the hollow shell of the Senate we have today,” he added.