Two tea party House members rail against timing of vote, choices, to replace Cantor

McClatchy Washington BureauJune 12, 2014 

Cantor Virginia Primary

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va., listens at right as House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 10, 2014.


Two tea party-powered conservative House Republicans Thursday railed against House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to hold a June 19 election to replace Eric Cantor as majority leader, saying it’s deliberately timed to give more conservative lawmakers less time to mount a serous campaign.

Reps. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.,said they won’t vote for either House Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., or House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, becasue they believe the two candidates are soft on immigration, the issue that contributed to Tuesday’s stunning defeat of Cantor in Virginia’s Republican primary.

In addition, King and Bachmann believe the June 19 date is a railroad job set up by the current House Republican leadership to insure that a candidate that it likes wins.

‘At a time when Republicans in Congress are fighting the Obama administration to oppose snap elections for unions on American employers, Republican leadership is trying to do the same in the United States House of Representatives,’ King said in a statement. ‘This snap election has the effect of stacking the deck.’

‘We got the notice about 4:15 p.m.(Wednesday) from the lips of Eric Cantor that he was going to resign,’ King told reporters Thursday. ‘Five to 10 minutes later, John Boehner said we’re going to hold a leadership election a week and a day from now. But that was hours into the whip efforts that had already been launched by our whip and the chairman of the rules committee. They had been giving a head start. They were out on the track and run a lap or two. We were gathered together at the starting line to hear the announcement that there was going to be a race and when it would start for us.’

King and Bachmann said they plan to talk with other conservative Republicans and mount an effort to delay the June 19 vote. King said he would have preferred to see Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, run for majority leader. Bachmann said she urged Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, to run. Hensarling announced Thursday that he won’t seek the majority leader job.

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