Former House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said the GOP could extend its House majority come 2024 after some House Democrats announced they won’t be seeking reelection.

McCarthy made the revelation during a Monday appearance on Fox Business’ “The Bottom Line.” The former speaker suggested that the departing House Democrats are leaving because they didn’t want to remain in the majority.

“This is a natural thing because, remember, the Democrats were in the majority before. So anytime you’re about to lose the majority, they try to coerce you in, ‘don’t leave the climate’s bad,’ and then they stay and they go into the minority and they said ‘I’m not staying,’” McCarthy said.

McCarthy added that the departures are good for the Republican party as the GOP could claim those seats in 2024 and extend its House majority.

“But this is good for Republicans, right? Because you got Spanberger [Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA)] leaving, you got Slotkin [Rep. Elissa Slotkin(D-MI)], you’ve got Kildee [Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI)] – these are all seats we were competing in,” the former speaker added. I believe Republicans have a better climate to win seats in the House than they did for the last two election cycles. And they won both cycles when Republicans weren’t winning somewhere else. This is a natural time though, too, because filing deadlines are coming up, people are home for Thanksgiving, and it’s been a little chaotic. So what happens? You come back home and you think, you know what, I got something else so. But, you know, look, it’s sad to lose some brain trust, but don’t ever think someone can’t be replaced. It’s an unbelievable institution. And I think when we focus on the right things, it just makes even the world better and America stronger.”

According to Balottpedia, a total of 31 House seats will be in contention in the 2024 election circle. Sixteen of the 31 departing House members —eight Democrats and eight Republicans— are retiring from office, with 11 of them seeking Senate seats. Twenty of the Departing House members are Democrats.