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On Cantor's Last Day As House Majority Leader, Debate Surrounds His Legacy

On his last day as House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor chose to focus on the House's bipartisan achievements.
On his last day as House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor chose to focus on the House's bipartisan achievements.

Today was Virginia Republican Eric Cantor’s last day as Majority Leader, and his legacy is already being debated.

Cantor began his time as leader by bucking the old guard and forging alliances with the tea party wing of the party. But he threw that strategy by the wayside and started siding with Speaker John Boehner over the more conservative wing of the party. His tenure was marked with partisanship, which even led to an embarrassing and costly government shutdown.

But in his last address to colleagues as Majority Leader, Cantor told his colleagues to remember the bipartisan accomplishments of helping shepherd dozens of bills through the chamber — only to have them sit untouched in the Senate. "This Congress — we have found ways to agree on much more than was ever reported, with many bills passing this House in a bipartisan way," he said.

But as his replacement scrambles to find votes to address the border crisis, Democrats are noting that other bipartisan bills are sitting untouched in the House, like efforts to extend long-term unemployment benefits and to extend a series of tax breaks.

Northern Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly says Cantor and Republican leaders have a shameful record. "It is a terrible abrogation of legislative responsibility," Connolly says. "And I would put the blame squarely at the majority and I do not believe that they deserve re-election.”

Cantor lost a primary challenge to professor Dave Brat and he’ll remain in office until December.


A Glimpse Of Listeners' #NPRpoetry — From The Punny To The Profound

It was a simple idea: Would you, our listeners, tweet us poems for National Poetry Month? Your response contained multitudes — haiku, lyrics, even one 8-year-old's ode to her dad's bald spot.
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Eating Insects: The Argument For Adding Bugs To Our Diet

Some say eating insects could save the planet, as we face the potential for global food and protein shortages. It's a common practice in many parts of the world, but what would it take to make bugs more appetizing to the masses here in the U.S.? Does it even make sense to try? A look at the arguments for and against the practice known as entomophagy, and the cultural and environmental issues involved.

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A Federal Official Shakes Up Metro's Board

After another smoke incident and ongoing single tracking delays for fixes, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced a shake-up of Metro's board.


'The Guardian' Launches New Series Examining Online Abuse

A video was released this week where female sports journalists were read abusive online comments to their face. It's an issue that reaches far beyond that group, and The Guardian is taking it on in a series called "The Web We Want." NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with series editor Becky Gardiner and writer Nesrine Malik, who receives a lot of online abuse.

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