Stunning Cantor primary loss to further halt major legislation
Political novice and college professor David Brat stunned House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Tuesday night in the Republican primary election for Virginia’s 7th District. It was the first time a sitting House majority leader lost in a primary since 1899.
The results were stunning to the press and the political establishment alike, and likely to Cantor’s team of consultants and advisers, as well. Internal polls reportedly had Cantor leading his opponent by more than 30 points and he raised millions in contributions, compared with Brat’s shoestring budget.
What it means for public affairs pros:
No immigration reform in sight
First and foremost, immigration reform is dead. Cantor’s support of measures that would have granted a path to citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants was blamed as a significant factor in his loss.
Any noteworthy legislation is even less likely
This Congress wasn’t exactly known for reaching across the aisle to pass laws. Yet Cantor’s loss means the chances of it passing any kind of significant legislation this year — and perhaps even until 2016 — will be greatly hindered.
The race for the House leadership is on
Cantor is the number two Republican in the House of Representatives, and was widely seen as the heir apparent to Speaker John Boehner. The upset loss sets up a race for the plum position among other prominent Republicans, as well as another clash between the party’s establishment and Tea Party wings.
Members of Congress from both parties, mostly stunned, reacted on Twitter.
Earthshaking primary results in Virginia tonight. Resounding rejection of #Amnesty and support for Rule of Law. Personal regrets to Eric.— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) June 11, 2014
Tonight proved the GOP has two paths on #immigrationreform: take a mainstream stance & win OR play both sides & walk the path to defeat.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 11, 2014
Three other things to know Wednesday morning:
The European Union is looking into the tax policies of major American companies such as Apple and Starbucks for their tax deals with individual member countries that may be too generous.
Only a handful of protesters showed up at General Motors’ annual meeting this week, and the automaker reported stronger-than-expected sales in May. Both are signs that the embattled company may have turned the corner after the crisis over its decade-long delay recalling Chevrolet Cobalts with malfunctioning ignition switches, according to Reuters.
Celebrity chef Paula Deen, booted from the Food Network and various endorsement deals last year for using racially insensitive language, is planning to launch The Paula Deen Network in September. The Internet-based network will have a subscriber-focused business model.