The Hill Reports: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) this week may face tough questions from disgruntled rank-and-file GOP lawmakers upset with his $25,000 donation to a group dedicated to ousting incumbents in Congress.
More than a half dozen Republican lawmakers, stunned by the news of Cantor’s donation, agreed to speak with The Hill on the condition of anonymity to vent their frustration without fear of retribution. The lawmakers interviewed included both younger and senior members of the GOP conference.
One veteran lawmaker, upset with the majority leader’s perceived aggression toward members of his own party, said House GOP members will now fear payback when they speak out or vote against leadership.
“It is a serious breach of trust,” the lawmaker said. “It sends a signal to the rest of us that if we don’t fall 100 percent in line…they will come after you.”
The drama is a continuation of Cantor’s move to take sides in the member vs. member Illinois Republican primary that pitted freshman Adam Kinzinger — Cantor’s pick — vs. 20-year incumbent Don Manzullo.
Cantor sought to curtail potential damage soon before news broke of the Virginia lawmaker’s donation to CPA, which targets incumbents on both sides of the aisle, according to sources familiar with the situation. He called GOP incumbents targeted by CPA to emphasize that his donation was used only for the Kinzinger race.
Kinzinger ended up beating Manzullo, who has publicly ripped Cantor for getting involved in the contest.
Cantor’s contribution has given CPA more credibility and enhanced its reputation. Because of the increased media attention, the super-PAC will likely receive more donors in the coming weeks and months.