Occupation: House majority leader
Known as a canny and sharp-elbowed power broker, the No. 2 House Republican helped pull the conference to the right in the contentious debt-limit debate, and has emerged as a favorite of the Tea Party movement and business lobbies alike. Cantor, a Virginian and the House's lone Jewish Republican, is viewed as a future contender for the speakership, a role he is said to covet.
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