Lucas eyeing House Financial Services gavel

Anne Wernikoff

Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) told The Hill on Tuesday he would make a play for the Financial Services Committee gavel if its current chairman moves into House leadership after Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) steps down.

Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) is the favorite of some conservatives in the caucus to become the new majority leader.

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"In that scenario ... look, I joined the Financial Services Committee 20 years ago because I thought it has an important impact on America," Lucas said. "If there was an opening at the top of the committee, there would be a melee, and I wouldn't want to miss out on the fun."

Lucas is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, so many assumed he would stay in that top post. But the next farm bill is more than four years away, and it has already reported out a Commodity Futures Trading Commission reform bill this year.

Other candidates for the Financial Services chairmanship if Hensarling moves up could include Reps. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas).

Lucas is more senior on the panel than all of those colleagues, except Royce, who is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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