SPOTLIGHT

Cantor’s Defeat Spooks House GOP

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) makes remarks during a news briefing at the U.S. Captiol March 25, 2010 in Washington, DC. Cantor said that leaders from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have turned threats against Democrats who voted for the health care reform package into a political issue.
National Journal
Scott Bland
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Scott Bland
June 11, 2014, 7:45 a.m.

There are three ways to look at House Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Eric Can­tor‘s (R) stun­ning primary de­feat Tues­day in VA-07: short-term, me­di­um-term, and long-term. We’ve tried them all in the last few hours.

— In the short run, Re­pub­lic­an in­cum­bents are go­ing to get jumpy. There just isn’t as much safety in “safe seats” any­more. Can­tor may be just the second in­cum­bent to go down, but as we’ve noted earli­er, mem­bers are fin­ish­ing be­low 60% in their primar­ies with in­creas­ing fre­quency. (While every­one was watch­ing Mis­sis­sippi last week, for ex­ample, Rep. Le­onard Lance (R-NJ) quietly won his primary by just 8 points.) Rep. Doug Lam­born (R-CO) is one of sev­er­al in­cum­bents in up­com­ing primar­ies who’ve had past primary struggles; look for an up­tick in activ­ity from them to avoid be­com­ing the next big sur­prise as Can­tor gets their at­ten­tion.

— In the me­di­um term, nervous in­cum­bents prob­ably means le­gis­lat­ing will prob­ably be a quiet busi­ness the rest of the year, and maybe bey­ond for the House GOP ma­jor­ity. Es­pe­cially giv­en Dave Brat‘s (R) fo­cus on im­mig­ra­tion, any move­ment on that is­sue looks es­pe­cially un­likely (even though Sen­ate “Gang of 8” co-au­thor Lind­sey Gra­ham (R) breezed through his SC primary Tues­day).

— It’s dif­fi­cult to ascribe po­ten­tial long-term ef­fects to a single House primary, though the first-ever primary de­feat for a House ma­jor­ity lead­er will ripple the pond more than most. The situ­ation points to a dis­con­nect between true “tea party” grass­roots en­ergy and the na­tion­al “tea party” groups that didn’t glance twice at this race (but will prob­ably raise lots of money off Brat’s vic­tory). And the pun­ish­ment doled out to Can­tor for not re­main­ing in touch with his grass­roots base high­lights a loom­ing is­sue for 2016 pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates who are already spend­ing a lot of en­ergy woo­ing big-money donors.

This doesn’t even get in­to the in­tern­al polit­ics of re­pla­cing Can­tor (and pos­sibly oth­ers) in House GOP lead­er­ship. But his de­feat has im­plic­a­tions throughout na­tion­al polit­ics.
— Scott Bland

What We're Following See More »
TRUMP CONTINUES TO LAWYER UP
Kasowitz Out, John Dowd In
3 days ago
THE LATEST

As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."

Source:
ALSO INQUIRES ABOUT PARDON POWER
Trump Looking to Discredit Mueller
3 days ago
THE LATEST

President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.

Source:
INCLUDES NY PROBE INTO MANAFORT
Why Yes, Mueller Is Looking into Trump Businesses
3 days ago
THE LATEST

In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."

Source:
Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions
3 days ago
THE DETAILS

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."

Source:
ANALYSIS FROM CBO
32 Million More Uninsured by 2026 if Obamacare Repealed
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"A Senate bill to gut Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured people by 32 million and double premiums on Obamacare's exchanges by 2026, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The analysis is of a bill that passed Congress in 2015 that would repeal Obamacare's taxes and some of the mandates. Republicans intend to leave Obamacare in place for two years while a replacement is crafted and implemented."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login