7 Fabulous Congressional Perks Eric Cantor Gave Up Today

By Benjamin Siegel

Jul 31, 2014 1:49pm

Rep. Eric Cantor stepped down today  as House Majority Leader and when he left the podium he also left behind many of the advantages that come with being the No. 2 Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Virginia Republican, who was defeated in his June primary by an obscure economics professor and first-time candidate, will serve out his term in Congress, but he’ll have to do it without any of these great perks:

1. The Entourage

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Leading the Republican House caucus isn’t easy and Cantor relied on a large staff of dozens in his district office, D.C. office and leadership office to keep things running smoothly. But now he’s going to have to downsize. The incoming leadership team of Reps. Kevin McCarthy of California and Steve Scalise of Louisiana have already absorbed many of his responsibilities — and snapped up some of his soon-to-be out of work staffers, according to Politico.

2. Fancy Invites

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Anja Niedringhaus/AP Photo

Even before his successor was named, Cantor lost much of the influence he commanded before losing the support of his constituents. He’ll be in office until January, but as a back-bencher, he shouldn’t expect to lead any more congressional delegations to places like Davos, Switzerland, where he attended the World Economic Forum last January. (He was, however, spotted in the Hamptons after his defeat.)

3. Proximity To Power

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AP Photo

Since his defeat, Cantor has been a no-show at press conferences and leadership meetings. He’s also missed a higher percentage of votes since losing his primary than in his previous 14 years of service, according to Roll Call. And another thing: He can kiss goodbye all those coveted photo-ops with House Speaker John Boehner. As Boehner’s No. 2, Cantor had been a ubiquitous presence by the Speaker’s side for years, but will now recede into the background.

4. The Attention

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Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo

Most members of Congress love being in the spotlight (as long as there’s no scandal involved), and few lawmakers were in as much demand as Cantor. That’s all over. However, Cantor’s defeat may actually be a blessing in disguise. He no longer has to brave the scores of reporters around the Capitol seeking comment on his conference’s actions.

5. Mmmmm…Steak

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Getty Images

We don’t know for sure if Cantor has seen his last political campaign, but his ouster certainly put a damper on his influence in the party. He has done little stumping for other Republicans since losing his own race — making the thousand-dollar campaign-expensed steak dinners a thing of the past for now. And, in a sign of how far he has fallen down the Congressional food chain, Cantor was recently spotted treating staff to a bite to eat at Chopt, the custom-salad joint in Washington’s Union Station.

6. Office Space

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

If you wanted to find House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, you could often find him around the House Majority Leader’s suite on the second floor of the Capitol. Now, the best place to find Cantor will be on the third floor of the Cannon House Office Building, where the Richmond congressman will be serving out the rest of his term in political exile.

 

7. Bye Bye, @GOPLeader

Cantor passed the social media baton shortly after addressing the House as Majority Leader for the last time. If you want to tweet at Cantor, you can find him at @RepEricCantor–@GOPLeader now belongs to McCarthy.

 


ABC’s Rick Klein contributed reporting. 

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