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 sharpen their message on impeachment Congress hunts for path out of spending stalemate Siren song of impeachment lures Democrats toward election doom 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 HurdRetirements pose threat to cybersecurity expertise in Congress Democrats challenge election laws in battleground states Republicans, Democrats brace for first public testimony in impeachment inquiry MORE (Texas), the only black Republican in the House, and Reps. Susan BrooksSusan Wiant BrooksOregon GOP Rep. Greg Walden won't seek reelection Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Pelosi: GOP retirements indicate they'll be in the minority, with Democrat in the White House MORE (Ind.) and Martha RobyMartha Dubina RobyOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 Pelosi: GOP retirements indicate they'll be in the minority, with Democrat in the White House 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 CurbeloProgressive Latino group launches first incumbent protection campaign The Memo: Bad polls for Trump shake GOP Anxious GOP treads carefully with Trump defense 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.