The sudden departure of trusted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor aide Brad Dayspring late last week followed a heated, nearly physical confrontation with another senior Cantor staffer over the unveiling of a major GOP initiative.

The dramatic exit of Dayspring — one of the House Republican Conference’s savviest and most controversial operatives — came after a clash with another top Cantor aide, Mike Ference, over the rollout of a jobs bill that’s set to hit the floor this week.

Ference, Cantor’s director of outreach, had been working with House offices to ensure that Democratic lawmakers would stand by the Virginia Republican when he unveiled the jobs bill outside the Capitol. But Democratic support never materialized and concerns about that fact were rising among some on Cantor’s staff.

Political Washington has been abuzz all weekend over what led to the departure of Dayspring, one of the Hill’s most well-known GOP aides. The 34-year-old hockey fanatic and New Jersey native is known as a fierce — at times in-your-face — defender of the Virginia Republican in his dealings with staff and reporters alike.

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