News / USA

Cantor Resigns House Leadership Post After Shocking Election Loss

Cantor Resigns House Leadership Post After Shocking Election Lossi
X
Cindy Saine
June 11, 2014 10:29 PM
House Majority leader Eric Cantor -- the second most powerful man in the U.S. House of Representatives -- has been unexpectedly defeated in a Republican primary election, sending shockwaves throughout the U.S. Capitol and beyond. Cantor lost to a little-known conservative opponent, David Brat, who portrayed Cantor as being too soft on the divisive issue of immigration reform. VOA House Correspondent Cindy Saine looks at the impact of the stunning upset.
Cindy Saine
House Majority leader Eric Cantor -- the second most powerful man in the U.S. House of Representatives -- has been unexpectedly defeated in a Republican primary election, sending shockwaves throughout the U.S. Capitol and beyond. Cantor lost to a little-known conservative opponent, David Brat, who portrayed Cantor as being too soft on the divisive issue of immigration reform.

Some were hoping Cantor would become the first Jewish American Speaker of the House. He reacted swiftly, though, to Tuesday's surprise defeat.

"Effective July 31st I will be stepping down as Majority Leader. It is with great humility that I do so," said Cantor.

Upstart surprises

His opponent, an economics professor, called his upset victory a miracle.

"All right, everybody, I want to give thanks endlessly tonight. This is the happiest moment, obviously, of my life, and I owe it to all of you in this room, number one. So give yourselves a hand," said Brat

Brat accused Cantor of supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants and their children, which Cantor denied.  

The Republican House leadership has rejected persistent calls by immigration rights activists and Democrats to allow a vote in the House on immigration reform.

Asked whether the issue is now dead, political analyst Geoffrey Skelley of the University of Virginia said via Skype that any time a prominent member of Congress loses a primary, other members take notice.

“I think it will make it more difficult to find Republican votes to pass immigration reform or even bring it to the floor in fear of angering people who will vote against them in the primaries,” he said.

Various factors

Other analysts agree that immigration reform was a factor, but believe that Cantor’s defeat is more emblematic of a widespread disgust among many people with the establishment in Washington.

Republican pollster Jon McHenry pointed out that a Senate race in South Carolina turned out differently.

“You see on the same day that [Eric] Cantor loses [Senator] Lindsey Graham, who has voted for a comprehensive immigration reform bill, wins with 56 percent of the vote,” he said.

Democrats took to the floor of the House and Senate to say Republicans should not use Cantor’s loss as an excuse not to act on immigration.

“Every time I talked to Republican members, business leaders, growers and faith leaders about immigration reform in the last several months, I consistently heard that the House leadership wanted to move forward but they did not have Cantor’s support,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, a Democrat.

After this political earthquake, House Republicans likely will be busy with their own internal leadership battles in the weeks to come.

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More