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 PelosiPatagonia says to shut stores for a few hours during Global Climate Strike Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Progressives push for changes to Pelosi drug pricing plan 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 HurdGOP struggles with retirement wave 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 (Texas), the only black Republican in the House, and Reps. Susan BrooksSusan Wiant BrooksHere 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 The Hill's 12:30 Report: House panel approves impeachment powers MORE (Ind.) and Martha RobyMartha Dubina RobyHere 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 The Hill's 12:30 Report: House panel approves impeachment powers 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 CurbeloPelosi: GOP retirements indicate they'll be in the minority, with Democrat in the White House The Hill's Morning Report - Congress returns: What to expect Wave of GOP retirements threatens 2020 comeback 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.