- The Washington Times - Friday, September 13, 2019

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is confident President Trump is the GOP’s ticket to retaking the majority in the 2020 elections.

Speaking at the House Republican retreat in Baltimore, the top House Republican noted that the party needs to flip only 19 seats — less than Democrats needed in the 2018 elections — to secure the majority.

The 2018 midterm election saw Democrats victorious after a blue wave elected dozens of members in conservative-leaning districts.

Now, Republicans are eyeing 31 of those new seats in states that the president won in 2016, 13 of which he held by a margin of 6 points or more, as a path to victory of their own in a presidential election year with Mr. Trump back on the ticket.

“I not only think President Trump is going to carry those 31, but much more,” he said.

However, while GOP leaders remain confident about their prospects, a recent string of Republican retirements has raised concern.

Twelve Republicans and three Democrats have announced plans to retire.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the high number of GOP retirements is foreshadowing a Democratic sweep in 2020.

“I think it’s an indication that the Republicans know they’ll be serving in the minority in the next Congress and most likely with a Democrat in the White House,” the California Democrat said in a C-SPAN interview.

“Maybe they think it’s time to spend more time with their families,” she added.

Mr. McCarthy, however, was largely unconcerned with the retirements, with the exception of Rep. Will Hurd’s “tough seat” in Texas.

“If you really want to continue to be able to be the very best — new individuals, new ideas, and new energy is what really we need,” he said.

Mr. McCarthy gave a long list of issues his party plans running on, including pushing for stronger border laws and the continued high cost of health care.

Should Republicans retake the House in 2020, Mr. McCarthy said their first priority would be tackling the rising debt, after news broke Thursday that the national deficit passed $1 trillion this month.

Mr. McCarthy defended the GOP’s role in the mounting debt, arguing that while mandatory spending rose, they tried to limit discretionary spending.

“So not only am I fearful that the debt is out of control, because every society has collapsed when they’ve overextended themselves, I watched the Democrats expand it further,” he said.

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