By Marisa Schultz | Fox News
Two new GOP congressmen were sworn into office Tuesday after winning two special elections last week that Republican leaders tout as a sign of GOP momentum heading into the fall general election.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi welcomed Mike Garcia, R-Calif., and Tom Tiffany, R-Wis., to the Capitol Tuesday morning to swear them into office. The newest members of Congress then joined House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., for a press conference where McCarthy said these two wins will have a ripple effect for Republicans retaking the House.
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“This is an early indication of what November looks like,” McCarthy said.
However, Pelosi expressed confidence that Democrats will retake the California seat in November and chalked up the special election loss to the unusual circumstance of the pandemic.
“We intend to win that seat in November,” Pelosi said last week. “We don’t see it as any referendum on anything other than it’s the first time we had vote-by-mail in the district … overwhelmingly.”
Republicans need 17 seats to win back control of the House, down from 19 last year, McCarthy noted.
Republicans picked up another lawmaker late last year when Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey switched from the Democratic to Republican Party because he didn’t want to impeach President Trump. Trump thanked him by holding a big campaign rally in his district in January.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., left, conducts a ceremonial swearing-in for Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif., second from right, joined by his wife Rebecca and son Preston, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Garcia, a former Navy combat pilot, flipped California’s 25th congressional district from blue to red. Freshman Rep. Katie Hill, D-Calif., resigned the seat in October 2019 amid a “throuple” ethics scandal and Republicans mounted an aggressive effort to retake the northeast Los Angeles County seat.
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“I can think of no better place right now to serve my country than in the House of Representatives,” Garcia, joined by his wife and two sons, said.
Tiffany, a former state senator, won the seat in Wisconsin that was vacated by GOP Rep. Sean Duffy.
“People want reform. They want our country to get back up on its feet again,” said Tiffany, who drove from Wisconsin with his wife and three daughters. “And that means government needs to be responsive to the citizens of this country. That’s what I will fight for every day.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., second from left, wears a face mask to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus as she conducts a ceremonial swearing-in for Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Wis., third from right, joined by his wife Chris, center, and daughters Lexie, from left, Karlyn and Katherine on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Both Garcia and Tiffany won their special elections on May 12.
“We look forward to serving with honor, serving with courage and bringing together not only this party, but also Americans across the nation,” Garcia said.
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