It is nothing less than astounding that House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — House passes opioid bill | Planned Parenthood sues over teen pregnancy program | Azar to face Senate next week House still plans immigration vote next week despite Trump's tweet House passes bipartisan bill to fight opioid crisis MORE (Calif.) collected enough votes overnight to replace Rep. Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election Scalise allies upset over Ryan blindside on McCarthy endorsement MORE (Va.) as majority leader, following Cantor's shocking loss to his primary opponent Tuesday. Certainly not because McCarthy hadn't earned that foundation of support from the conference already but that the loud and proud voices of angry conservatives once again added up to, well, too few votes. The problem plaguing the most conservative wing of the Republican Party — call it the Tea Party of whatever — has always been the lack of votes. Defunding ObamaCare, ousting Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFormer top Treasury official to head private equity group GOP strategist Steve Schmidt denounces party, will vote for Democrats Zeal, this time from the center MORE (Ohio), beating McCarthy — it's always the same: not enough votes.

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Uprisings come and go, and Dave Brat's ability to wipe out a majority leader with only 5 percent of the votes from Virginia's 7th District is as stunning and historic as upsets can be, but until this fervent movement wins enough elections, a movement is what it will remain. Despite the GOP establishment's intense — and successful — pushback in primary elections this year, conservatives rejoiced after Brat's win Tuesday, issuing threats to topple the blue and swing-state leaders who have controlled the conference now for years. Leaders from Ohio, Virginia and California — what do they know about the country? But Rep. Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingHensarling's effort to close financial research office a big mistake Mulvaney aims to cement CFPB legacy by ensuring successor's confirmation On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump floats tariffs on European cars | Nikki Haley slams UN report on US poverty | Will tax law help GOP? It's a mystery MORE (Texas) took a pass, then after declaring himself a candidate, Rep. Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsCook Political Report got it wrong: Reps. Sessions and Culberson’s districts are not 'toss-ups' The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Outcry raises pressure on GOP for immigration fix Cook Political Report moves GOP chairman’s race to ‘toss-up’ MORE (Texas) took a pass and a new push by Rep. Raul LabradorRaul Rafael LabradorVoting shouldn't cause dysfunction — but Americans can change the system GOP lawmaker who gave up seat to run for governor loses primary Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Advocates sue Maine governor for not expanding Medicaid MORE (Idaho) will surely go the way the other challenges did. McCarthy has the votes already. Why? Because so many Tea Party-backed conservatives support him. There aren't enough of them to land a blow — period.

While Republicans everywhere battle over this poll or that showing that immigration did or did not end Cantor's congressional career, Labrador — a reform proponent who has worked with Democrats to get it passed this session — has declared reform dead. All that matters is that conservatives are blaming "amnesty" for the loss, even if it isn't the culprit. It is a powerful weapon that will be used again and again to scare Republicans away from reform, furthering fueling the Tea Party and the conservative grass roots but keeping the party as a whole from winning the White House again. Why? Without reform there won't be enough votes.

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