Pelosi: GOP retirements indicate they'll be in the minority, with Democrat in the White House

Pelosi: GOP retirements indicate they'll be in the minority, with Democrat in the White House
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats hammer abuse of power charge, allege Trump put self over country Overnight Energy: Trump issues rule replacing Obama-era waterway protections | Pelosi slams new rule as 'an outrageous assault' | Trump water policy exposes sharp divides Pelosi slams Trump administration's new water rule: 'An outrageous assault' MORE (D-Calif.) said a wave of retirements among GOP lawmakers indicates Republicans will be relegated to the minority for at least another term after the 2020 election. 

“I think it's an indication that Republicans know that they'll probably be serving in the minority in the next Congress and most likely with a Democrat in the White House,” she told C-SPAN of the 15 retirements so far. “So I think maybe they think it’s time to spend more time with their families.” 

While most of the retirements have been in ruby red congressional districts that should be easy for the GOP to hold, others have been particularly painful for the House Republican delegation. Among others, the party is losing Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdThe Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' House Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts Hurd says Democrats, media are being manipulated by Iran MORE (Texas), the only black Republican in the House, and Reps. Susan BrooksSusan Wiant BrooksThe rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2019 Hispanic Democrats endorse Latina for open Indiana seat Trump shocks, earns GOP rebukes with Dingell remarks MORE (Ind.) and Martha RobyMartha Dubina RobyGlobal health is the last bastion of bipartisan foreign policy Stefanik defends Roby 'for bringing her son to work' after Post op-ed Republican group asks 'what is Trump hiding' in Times Square billboard MORE (Ala.), two of the GOP’s 13 female lawmakers.

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Observers believe the acrimonious atmosphere in Congress’ lower chamber and frustration with being in the minority are the chief factors in the slate of retirements.

“The most likely outcome is a status quo election for the House. And that certainly influences people’s decision [to retire], whether they think they can regain the majority or not,” former Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloRepublicans can't exploit the left's climate extremism without a better idea Progressive Latino group launches first incumbent protection campaign The Memo: Bad polls for Trump shake GOP MORE (R-Fla.), one of two dozen Republicans who was unseated during the 2018 midterms, told The Hill last week. “For sure, some of those members who retired, [staying in the minority] was a factor in their thinking.”

“The retirements are unnerving,” added Bill Miller, a GOP lobbyist and consultant based in Austin, Texas. “The reality is that life in the minority is just not as appealing, but at the same time, in some of these cases, there is a little bit of fear of losing built into the decisions not to run again.”

Democrats, who had been in the minority since they lost 63 seats in the 2010 Tea Party wave, won back the majority in last year’s midterm elections.