WASHINGTON (AP) - Conservatives emboldened by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's astonishing loss to a tea party-backed upstart are pledging to capitalize on their new-found political strength.
That's setting up election-year struggles over Congress' most basic legislative responsibilities and erasing already slim hopes for ambitious bills on immigration and voting rights.
The Virginia Republican's presence in the leadership ranks had raised expectations of some congressional action this year on a GOP alternative to President Barack Obama's health care law, on a business-friendly re-authorization of the Export-Import bank and on a bipartisan voting rights measure.
There was even hope of some version of immigration overhaul.
Cantor lost a primary last Tuesday to immigration foe Dave Brat and is stepping down as majority leader July 31. That's dashed any dimming prospects for far-reaching legislation.