GOP Aims to Erase Dems' House Majority

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WASHINGTON -- As members of Congress head home for their August recess, many will be working hard to defend their records to angry voters.

At least 65 House seats, most of them held by Democrats, are at risk. The party is currently facing voter unrest over the economy and high unemployment.

However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said she is not worried about Democrats losing control of the U.S. House of Representatives this November.

On Sunday during ABC's program "This Week," Pelosi insisted that voters support her and her party's agenda, and that she is very confident about the Democrats current position for the election.

"So what does it make you feel, then, when the president's own spokesman said that you might lose the majority?" ABC's Christiane Amanpour asked Pelosi.

"With all due respect -- I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about what the president's employees say about one thing or another," Pelosi replied. "We have a solid plan of messaging and mobilize -- mobilizing at the grassroots level and management of our campaigns. And we have a two to one advantage money-wise, so we feel very confident about where we are."

GOP: Americans Want Change

Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers are aiming to take political advantage of the Democrats' sagging popularity to take back control of the House. 

"We've been listening to the American people. It's pretty clear that they want change," House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.
    
Republicans need to pick up 39 seats to reclaim a majority in the House - and they're energized. Polls show Independent voters who helped elect President Obama and Democrats in 2008 are now leaning towards the GOP.

"I think the Democrats' biggest problem is they're spending too much, taxing too much, borrowing too much, and their job- killing programs are what's on the mind of the American people. And I think that's what will determine the outcome of the election this fall," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.
    
But the election is still three months away, which to candidates can seem like a political eternity.

Time for Some Campaigning    

Democrats have been outspending Republicans and just scheduled nearly $50 million worth of television advertising to air this fall.
    
Still, Rep. Chris Hollen, D-Md., chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has admitted maintaining a comfortable majority will be difficult.
    
He said voters must decide between two very different economic policies.
 
"If you look at the Republican Party platform, it is Bush economics on steroids," Van Hollen said.   
      
But some GOP lawmakers have claimed that Democrats are driving the nation to financial ruin.  
 
"I think it's pretty clear that the American people are tired of the job killing agenda in Washington, D.C." Boehner said. "They want the spending spree to stop. They want to make sure that taxes are not increased."
    
The Rangel-Waters Dilemma

Meanwhile, Democrats are hoping to avoid fallout from ethics trials this fall for two prominent members of the Democratic caucus -- Reps. Charlie Rangel of New York and Maxine Waters of California.

"We have passed the most sweeping ethics reform in the history of the Congress," Pelosi said. "Any personal respect and affection we may have for people makes us sad about the course of events, but we have to pull the high ethical standard and none of our personalities is more important than that."

For his part, the president will spend the month of August appealing to the Democratic base, raising money.
    
He has geared up his efforts to help Democrats hold onto their majority in Congress - even if that means staying away from districts where his presence would potentially hurt a candidate, doing more harm than good.

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Jennifer Wishon

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Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.