When House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary bid for re-election, he wasted no time cashing in on new opportunities. He didn’t even wait for his term to end before resigning his office August 18 – leaving his constituents unrepresented for three months, and making the leap to big bucks on Wall Street. His base pay in his new position with the investment firm Moelis & Co. is $400,000 for the remainder of the year, plus a $400,000 signing bonus. He also gets a million dollars-worth of restricted stock – altogether about 26 times the average income of Virginians in his old district.
What makes an ex-Congressman so valuable to an investment firm based in New York City? To be clear, he cannot return to the floor of the House to lobby his former colleagues on a bill. Congress ended that practice in the middle of the last decade.