| WASHINGTON, June 11
WASHINGTON, June 11 The sudden primary defeat of
U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor not
only paves the way for a new party leader - it could also open
the door for a new chairman of the House Financial Services
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
Representatives for Garrett and McHenry said on Wednesday
that the lawmakers were interested in leading the committee.
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 told The Hill, a Washington newspaper, that 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, a House Republican aide
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.
It is responsible for housing finance policy and will play a
crucial role in any reforms for mortgage finance entities Fannie
Mae and Freddie Mac.
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 slated for June 19.
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' No. 3 leadership
position, majority whip.
A special Republican steering committee would choose a new
House Financial Services leader in the event of a victory by
Hensarling, who said he is weighing his next steps.
A House Republican aide said that given the Financial
Services Committee's full plate of bills and the short
legislative calendar, he expects a new chairman for the panel to
be selected by the end of the month if Hensarling becomes
A change in the chairmanship would be unlikely to alter the
direction of the panel since the candidates have ideological
views similar to those of Hensarling.
If Hensarling became majority leader, however, more
conservative financial services bills could possibly make their
way to the floor.
Most notable among them is a bill sponsored by Hensarling
known as the PATH Act, which would greatly reduce the
government's backstopping for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
"It is possible that Hensarling could even bring the bill up
for a vote this summer depending upon when he became majority
leader," wrote Guggenheim analyst Jaret Seiberg in a note on
"We believe the clout of being majority leader would be
enough to get this bill through the House," he added.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Emily Stephenson; Editing by
Caren Bohan and Steve Orlofsky)