Thu June 12, 2014
Cantor Ousting Creates Waves in the House and on the Hill
Majority Leader Eric Cantor may have lost his Republican primary in Richmond, but he isn’t giving up his leadership post until the end of summer. A look at what the political sea change means for the state.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor may have lost his Republican primary in Richmond, but he isn’t giving up his leadership post until the end of summer. Capitol Hill reporter Matt Laslo looks at what the sea change means for the state
House Republicans are voting for Cantor’s replacement on June nineteenth. But Cantor isn’t giving up the reins of power until July thirty first. He told reporters that’s because he still wants to pass spending bills, energy legislation and a handful of other bills. “We’ve got a lot on the floor. My team has been heavily involved with the committees in drafting legislation, in making sure that we can run the floor and be expeditious in the legislative process so we look forward to a very productive June and July.”
August first will be here soon and Cantor’s loss after seven terms in the House has many Virginia officials on edge, especially because two Virginia lawmakers on the powerful Appropriations committee are also retiring.
"Seniority is certainly significantly diminished," says Virginia Democrat Bobby Scott.
“The delegation works well together. And that tradition…we expect that tradition to continue, but without the two senior members of the appropriations committee and the majority leader, the job is just harder.”
Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine says it’s a blow to the Commonwealth. “It’s a significant challenge to lose, in our House delegation, that much seniority, and also some positions of influence.”
But Northern Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly says Cantor never did much for his district. "Federal employee issues? He led the charge to the other side. Clean up of the Chesapeake Bay? Not so much. Protecting transit funding, and making sure that we’re making those investments like the silver line and Capitol investment in the Metro? Not so much. So it get’s sided, clout and seniority, but frankly it depends on who’s got it and how they use it.”
While Cantor says he’s got a lot of bills he still wants to usher through the House, immigration reform wasn’t anywhere on his list, which is making advocates of reform nervous as his time as a power broker comes to a close.
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