Cantor loss sends Capitol Hill into a frenzy - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Cantor loss sends Capitol Hill into a frenzy

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWBT) -

No one on Capitol Hill seemed prepared to handle this day. It is a phenomenon the U.S. House of Representatives had never seen before, especially in this age of 24-hour news.

At the center for maybe the last time, Henrico Congressman Eric Cantor.

He did his best to make this day a positive one.

"I couldn't be more optimistic about this country," he told supporters Tuesday night.

Still smarting from his historic election loss. Cantor volunteered to surrender his leadership post to allow his fellow Republicans to re-organize and move forward.  As of July 31, he will no longer be House Majority Leader. It's a move made necessary as members buzzed about the Capitol positioning themselves for the future. They will vote to replace him June 19. Cantor will serve out his term, ending a career he is proud of. 

"We house Republicans have made some tremendous strides over the past couple of years," he said.

Behind closes doors Cantor was reportedly given several standing ovations by his soon to be former GOP colleagues. One Democratic colleague, Congressman Bobby Scott said Cantor was someone he didn't always agree with but was always able to work with to get things done.

"We work together," said Scott. "On the national issues we just disagree. We recognize there is a disagreement, but on the things that effect Virginia we work together."

NBC Capitol Hill Correspondent Luke Russert believes that the Cantor loss resonates beyond just House Leadership, impacting not just pending legislation and upcoming elections but the 2016 presidential race as well.

"What if you are Jeb Bush and you support immigration reform?" Russert wondered. "What do you do when you see someone like Eric Cantor, who only moderately supported immigration reform, lose his job?"

For now, Cantor exits the stage no longer the center of the debate, but prepared for the next stage of life as an average citizen.

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