Defeat of US House Republican leader Eric Cantor starts scramble for jobs

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 June, 2014, 9:10pm
UPDATED : Friday, 13 June, 2014, 5:05am

The primary defeat of US House Republican leader Eric Cantor not only paves the way for a new party chief - it could also open the door for a new chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

When Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the committee, emerged on Wednesday as a possible contender for Cantor's job, a handful of Republican lawmakers began to be mentioned as a possible successor to the Texas Republican as head of the panel.

The possible contenders include Representatives Ed Royce of California, Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Patrick McHenry of North Carolina and Randy Neugebauer of Texas. Garrett, McHenry and Neugebauer chair Financial Services subcommittees. Lucas chairs the Agriculture Committee and is also a senior member of the Financial Services Committee.

Lucas has already said he would be interested in leading the financial services panel.

Royce is chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the most senior of the Financial Services Committee members discussed as possible chairmen.

He unsuccessfully sought the financial services position in 2010 and has been interested ever since. The Financial Services Committee, considered a plum assignment on Capitol Hill, oversees the activities of the major financial and banking regulators, including the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lawmakers also like being on the committee because it gives them a way to help bankroll their campaigns through contributions from Wall Street.

A Republican caucus vote to replace Cantor as majority leader is scheduled for Thursday.

If Hensarling runs, he is likely to face a number of other powerful Republicans, including Representative Kevin McCarthy, a Cantor ally who holds the Republicans' No3 leadership position, majority whip.