On Thursday, his last day as House Majority Leader, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) did not mention amnesty or work visas during his farewell speech on the House floor.
Shockingly, Cantor lost a June 10 primary to Dave Brat largely because of his views on amnesty, and he did not urge his colleagues to move forward on giving amnesty to illegal immigrant children or increase the number of high-tech guest-worker visas. Before his defeat, Cantor was reportedly working on the so-called KIDS Act and pushed the STEM Jobs Act that passed the House last year. The STEM bill would have increased the number of various work visas.
Brat hammered Cantor on those issues in the final weeks of the campaign to defeat him, emphasizing that increasing the number of visas would lower the wages of American workers even as America already had a surplus of high-tech workers.
Cantor praised House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who will become the new majority leader, and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the budget chairman who, along with McCarthy and Cantor, made up the “young guns.”
He promoted more education reforms and said it was the “civil rights issue of our time,” asserting that “too many children are condemned to a bad school because of the zip code that they live in.”
“Being poor should not mean being deprived of a good education,” he said.
Cantor also said government policies often restrict opportunities for students to gain skills. And he spoke about how proud he was of his bill that funded research for pediatric diseases that President Barack Obama signed.
Furthermore, Cantor stated that America “cannot meet its full potential if America is not leading abroad,” and he criticized its diminished influence on the world’s stage. He said the country must “stand tall with those who don’t stand with us.”
When McCarthy becomes the new majority leader, four of Cantor’s top aides will join McCarthy, including Neil Bradley, Cantor’s deputy chief of staff. Bradley will hold the same position with McCarthy.