Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has decided to resign his leadership position after losing his primary election last night. Cantor was upset in the Virginia congressional Republican primary by relative unknown economics professor and Tea Party favorite David Brat.
In a sign of the turbulent political winds blowing today, Cantor is the only majority leader in congressional history to lose a primary election.
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Statements from Republican House leadership
Capitol Hill had an odd, almost somber vibe Tuesday night and Wednesday after the news of Cantor’s defeat. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, released a statement calling Cantor “a good friend and a great leader.”
Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy also expressed his sentiments. “Few have fought harder or have accomplished more in the pursuit of solutions-based polices to better the lives of Americans than Eric Cantor. Every single member of this conference is indebted to Eric’s graciousness and leadership.”
Boeing shares down on Cantor news
Cantor was certainly a friend of Wall Street, and his defeat might even have a small role in today’s rout on Wall Street, but his loss can be fairly argued to related to The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)’s almost 3% decline in midday trading.
As far as friend of Wall Street goes, Cantor voted for TARP and voted to raise the debt ceiling 10 times. He was also the number one recipient of political donations from private equity and the finance industry in both 2013 and 2014, based on data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
One consideration is that now the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, which sets up financing for the export of U.S. goods to global markets, could be up in the air. Furthermore, according to Bloomberg, the Export-Import bank is reviewing support for more than $10 billion worth of Boeing’s 2014 sales.
Chris Krueger, senior policy analyst at Guggenheim, expressed in an email that he believed that Boeing was the “biggest loser” in the situation besides Cantor.
In its Q1 earnings report, Boeing said 37% of its $67 billion backlog in its Defense, Space & Security division were with non-U.S. clients.
The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) is currently the greatest percentage loser in the Dow Jones Industrial Average today.