United States House of Representatives

Newly defeated Rep. Eric Cantor will hang up his hat as House majority leader July 31, a GOP source in Congress confirmed Wednesday. This update comes on the heels of the stunning news that Cantor had been beaten in Tuesday’s Virginia primary by upstart tea party challenger David Brat (via the Chicago Tribune):

In his campaign against Cantor, college economics professor David Brat accused Cantor of being too willing to compromise with Democrats on immigration and budget issues and of not fighting hard enough against President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law known as Obamacare.

That, despite Cantor’s role in staging more than 40 votes in the House to repeal all or parts of Obamacare over the last few years.

Amid the party turmoil, House Speaker John Boehner is expected to remain in his position through this year and to seek re-election to the job next year if Republicans maintain their control of the chamber, as expected, in November elections.

Cantor had been seen by many as an eventual successor to Boehner.

Meanwhile, Rep. Paul Ryan is claiming he doesn’t have his sights set on rising higher in the House’s Republican ranks, although he’s expected to anyway. The Washington Post published a postmortem about Tuesday’s big upset, pointing in part to Cantor’s inability or unwillingness to see certain signs before it was too late as the cause of his defeat. It’s going to be an interesting six weeks on Capitol Hill.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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