WASHINGTON — Some conservative lawmakers are fuming that the short-time frame between Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s announced resignation yesterday and the election of his successor next week is unfairly “stacking the deck” for the two establishment Republicans vying to replace him.
“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,” Iowa Rep. Steve King said Thursday.
“This snap election has the effect of stacking the deck,” he said.
After his surprising lost in his Republican primary on Tuesday night, Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor announced on Wednesday afternoon that he plans to step down as majority leader next month though will serve out the rest of his congressional term.
The GOP leadership has scheduled the elections for next Thursday.
The short turn around, King argues, gives an unfair advantage to California Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, who are both already in the GOP leadership and can quickly consolidate support. King says the quick timeframe makes it too difficult for a conservative alternative to whip up support.
This is believed to have played a role in Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling — someone conservatives were hoping would run — to announce Thursday that he will not enter the race.
With Hensarling not running, conservatives do not have an alternative to run in the election yet. Several other names have been floated, including Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the former chairman of the Republican Study Committee.
“Let’s take more time to get our heads clear and elect a staunch conservative, anti-amnesty candidate to step up and lead the majority,” King said.