Six Democrats have said that this year will be their last in Congress — but that hasn't shaken House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's confidence in her party retaking the lower chamber in this November's elections.
"Our Democratic retirements do not relate in any way to our prospects for winning," the California Democrat said, The Hill
Just this week, three Democrats said that they were resigning, including her longtime California colleague, Rep. George Miller,
who announced on Monday that he was not seeking re-election after 40 years on Capitol Hill.
The other two were Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia, who said on Wednesday that he was quitting after 12 terms, and Rep. Bill Owens of New York. He said on Tuesday that he was not seeking re-election after two terms, the Hill reports.
Pelosi said that these "personal and family decisions" would not affect the midterm elections — telling the Hill that fundraising and recruitment were more likely to have an impact.
"They are, generationally, in the same place, ready for another chapter in life," she said, referring to Miller and Moran. "It's not about whether we win the House; it's about their family decisions."
Democrats announcing their retirements last week include Reps. Jim Matheson of Utah and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, also of New York.
Matheson and McIntyre represent heavily Republican districts, the Hill reports.
But Pelosi told the Hill that 10 Republicans are retiring in the House, predicting that Democrats "probably have better prospects in some of their districts than they do in ours."
"We've seriously outraised the Republicans," she told the Hill. "But more important than that is the caliber of candidates that we have running. They're spectacular.
"Democrats are optimistic about our prospects," the minority leader added. "And we've met all of our critical imperatives for where we need to be on a path to victory."
Pelosi's comments brought doomsday predictions from Republicans.
“We know Nancy Pelosi doesn’t think we have a spending problem, but now she’s really in denial," Daniel Scarpinato, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, told the Hill. "Losing two Democrat incumbents in two of the most Republican districts in the nation is the worst-case scenario for Pelosi’s dreams of becoming Speaker of the House again.”
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