House majority leader Eric Cantor is increasingly frustrated with a group of House Republicans who are working against the leadership, and he’s not afraid of voicing his dismay.
In a closed-door conference meeting on Wednesday, Cantor told one GOP member that if they blocked the Senate-passed Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) from coming to the floor, they’d cause “civil war” in the ranks.
Cantor’s comment irked some Republican aides, who told National Review Online that such strong language is inappropriate. In recent days, some conservatives have been upset about the Senate’s version of VAWA, saying that parts of the bill are unconstitutional.
Nevertheless, Cantor’s warning may have had an effect. When the bill came to the floor on Wednesday, only nine Republicans voted against the rule to take up the bill.
Tensions between backbenchers and the leadership, however, are evident. Behind the scenes, House Republicans raised concerns about VAWA throughout the day. Eventually, though, the rule passed, 414–9, and the House plans a final vote on the Senate’s version of VAWA on Thursday.
The nine who voted against the rule include Georgia Senate candidate Paul Broun and potential Iowa Senate candidate Steve King.