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Steve King Blasts Snap Election to Replace Eric Cantor

King, shown here Wednesday amid a throng of reporters, wants to elect an "anti-amnesty" majority leader. (Tom William/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Steve King said Thursday GOP leaders are "stacking the deck" with a snap election to replace Eric Cantor as majority leader and urged the Republican Conference to slow down and elect an "anti-amnesty" majority leader.  

“At a time when Republicans in Congress are fighting the Obama Administration to oppose snap elections for unions on American employers, Republican Leadership is trying to do the same in the United States House of Representatives,” the Iowa Republican said in a statement. “This snap election has the effect of stacking the deck.  

"Unfortunately, while both current candidates benefit from the hasty timeframe prescribed by leadership, neither opposes amnesty legislation being brought to the floor of the House. The primary election in Virginia 7 that led to this leadership vacuum turned on the electorate’s opposition to amnesty. Have we learned nothing? Let’s take more time to get our heads clear and elect a staunch conservative, anti-amnesty candidate to step up and lead the Majority.”  

King has frequently criticized GOP leaders for pursuing immigration legislation. Conservatives, meanwhile, were trying to coalesce around a candidate to take on Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California.  

Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas has announced his interest, and lawmakers are looking at two other conservatives, Rep. Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho and former Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio.