And when Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner came to the Hill on Nov. 29 to deliver a White House proposal that included $1.6 trillion in new revenue, he met jointly with Boehner and Cantor.
“Just because he’s not in meetings with the president doesn’t mean he’s not involved,” a Cantor aide said.
Cantor’s allies also bristle at questions about his ambitions, a favorite Washington guessing game that sometimes creates the impression that he cares more about getting his next job than doing the one he has now.
His friends note that at 49, he has plenty of time to consider other prospects, including succeeding Boehner, 63, as speaker.
“I get annoyed that we’re never allowed to do what we’re doing because it’s right,” said Ray Allen Jr., a top political adviser. “He is the first Jewish majority leader in history. It’s the first time since the founding generation that a Virginian is in charge of anything in Washington. . . . He has an important job to do, and it’s a job he takes seriously.”