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 Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid