House Majority Leader Eric Cantor fell to shocking defeat at the hands of a man who labeled him as pro-amnesty. This should be the perfect opportunity for the most vocal and hard-line opponents of immigration reform — their supporters helped topple one of the most powerful men in Washington.
Members of the conservative Republican Study Committee are running for both majority leader and to replace Rep. Kevin McCarthy as majority whip, should he win the top contest.
But still, some tea partiers aren't happy.
Republican Reps. Steve King and Michele Bachmann, both hard-liners on immigration, are eyeing the possible duel elections with an air of depression, arguing that none of the candidates for either position will feel any differently about immigration than his predecessors.
And the only solution they've got to offer: Delay the June 19 leadership election "so that we can actually field a candidate who's not for amnesty. That was the result of the election in Eric Cantor's district," Bachmann said. "It would be wrong for us to have an election for leadership for the Republican Conference without even one candidate who stands for securing our borders and rejecting amnesty."
For these lawmakers, the current candidates to be the next majority leader have unsatisfactory stances. McCarthy has come out in favor of allowing the the undocumented to apply for legalization. House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, beat a primary challenger in March who had attacked him for supporting a guest-worker program. (Sessions, for his part, has emphasized that his position on immigration is "border security, border security, border security.")