By DAVID SKOLNICK
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-17th, says his political party will lose seats in the U.S. House and Senate in the November general election but not enough for Republicans to control either legislative body.
“In reality, we probably have a few seats [in the House] we shouldn’t have anyway,” Ryan, of Niles, said during a meeting Tuesday with The Vindicator editorial board.
“We got them from the backlash of [the presidency of] George Bush, and the Barack [Obama presidential] election,” he added. “I don’t see us losing a lot of seats. We won’t lose the House.”
Democrats have a 253-177 majority over Republicans in the U.S. House, which has five vacancies.
Democrats also will retain control of the Senate, Ryan predicted. Democrats have a 57-41 advantage in the Senate, with two independents.
“A lot has to do with the economy and job creation,” Ryan said. “We had a hell of a mess [from the Bush administration], and we’ve only been implementing our plan for a little over a year.”
Several political analysts say the landmark health-care bill approved last month makes several incumbent Democrats vulnerable in conservative-leaning congressional districts.
Ryan contends the bill’s passage is “the biggest win Democrats have seen since Medicare, political win, legislative win. People have spent their lifetime campaigning for candidates who support health care for everybody in the country.”
Democrats need to get the message out better about health care and not let Republicans control the issue, he said.
“We need to get the facts out and not be afraid to take on a lot of the misinformation that’s been out there,” Ryan said. “If you’re paying attention, you’ve seen so many arguments shot down like death panels and [covering] illegal immigrants.”
Ryan faces two Democrats in next month’s primary — ex-Girard Councilman Dan Moadus and Robert Crow of Youngstown.
Both challengers oppose the health-care bill.
Moadus called it a “new entitlement program” that the country can’t afford.
Crow said the bill “went too far.”