In a tense, closed-door meeting today at the Capitol, House majority leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) scolded several Republican committee chairmen for voting against the farm bill that failed to pass the House last month.
According to several sources, Cantor told the chairmen it was “unacceptable” for them to not vote together on final passage, especially since the leadership supported their amendments to the agricultural package.
Representative Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, the agricultural-committee chairman, expressed hope that the House would take up a farm bill again this summer, and Cantor reportedly agreed with him. The majority leader went on to tell the group that he doesn’t want another headache if he decides to do so.
Near the end, Cantor coolly reminded them that the leadership is much more likely to usher their bills to the floor if they stick with him on votes.
Sources say the chairmen were slightly surprised to hear such a warning from the mild-mannered Virginian, but with rank-and-file Republicans angry about the farm bill’s collapse, they know Cantor is facing pressure.
Out of the 62 Republican nays, seven of them were chairmen, including Jeb Hensarling (Texas), the financial-services-committee chairman, and Jeff Miller (Fla.), the veteran-affairs-committee chairman. Budget-committee chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin was another nay vote.
Rory Cooper, a Cantor aide, declined to confirm the session, telling NRO that Cantor’s office does not discuss member meetings.