McCarthy Counters Trump’s Call to Change GOP Leadership Rules to Prevent Retirements, Says ‘New Blood’ Is Good

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) offered a rare rebuff of President Donald Trump on the issue of leadership term limits in the House.

As it stands today, the Republican conference in the House has placed term limits on leadership positions, including positions like committee chairman. While there are no term limits on running for Congress itself, this is one way that Republicans have tried to encourage change within the House.

Since this rule took place in 1992, some have argued that it discourages experienced members from sticking around when after they hit the highest committee position possible. Republicans have seen many experienced members announce their retirement, leaving their seats vulnerable in the upcoming 2020 elections.

In a tweet posted Monday morning, Trump argued that Democrats — who do not have such limitations — have the better system because it encourages members to stay in office.

“The [Democrats] have unlimited terms,” wrote the president. “While that has its own problems, it is a better way to go. Fewer people, in the end, will leave!”

Although McCarthy is typically in lock-step with the president, he disagreed on this point. During an interview on “America’s Newsroom,” McCarthy explained why he believes the “new blood” helps the party.

Watch McCarthy’s comments:

“It is sad when someone wants to depart. I was very sad when [Former Rep.] Ted Poe departed in the last Congress, but who followed him? [Rep.] Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas). It’s good to have new blood going through. [Rep. Jim] Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) has been a tremendous congressman — legislated so much — but he served more than 42 years. All of these have a basis but there’s no concern in the basis of whether we’re gonna gain the majority back. Thirty-one Democrats sit in seats that President Trump carried. We only have to win 19. Democrats had to win 23 in the last cycle. We have fewer seats to gain with bigger playing field to go.”

McCarthy noted that there are several candidates worth watching, including former Apache pilot Wesley Hunt, who could win in 2020.

“We have a transformation that’s happening in the Republican Party with new blood coming in that’s only going to make the team stronger and I know that that’s what is going to carry us to the new majority,” said McCarthy.

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