- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Republicans may lose control of the House and have Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi take the reins if the party doesn’t move beyond the current health care impasse and begin working toward economic growth, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Monday.

“Do we represent prosperity, economic growth, higher take home pay, more jobs or not?” the former House speaker and GOP presidential hopeful asked Fox News host Sean Hannity during an interview aired Monday evening.

“I personally believe that they ought to do as much as they can on health care right now, but they shouldn’t spend the whole rest of this year on one issue,” Mr. Gingrich said of the Republican Party. “They’ve also got to pass, I think, by Thanksgiving, and get signed into law by Thanksgiving, a very large tax cut retroactively designed back to Jan. 1, to make sure we have enough economic growth in 2018 that Republicans can run as the party of prosperity, of jobs, of higher take-home pay, and of economic growth.”

Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, risks assuming Mr. Gingrich’s former role as House speaker if Republicans don’t heed his advice, he added.

“I would say the highest focus ought to be on getting the tax bill through because if we don’t have economic growth next year, I think we’re in real danger of having Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2019,” Mr. Gingrich said.

“If we do get enough economic growth; I think frankly we will probably get re-elected.”

Republicans, including President Trump, have for months promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, former President Obama’s hallmark health care law, but have failed so far to agree on a plan for supplanting the law.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, announced Monday that the Senate will soon vote on “a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period to a patient-centered health care system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable care.”

Mr. Gingrich acted as speaker of the House for four years starting January 1995, serving as one of the Republican Party’s most powerful voices in Washington amid the Clinton administration.

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