Jewish Republican Cantor set for majority leader role

Eric Cantor

Eric Cantor

The only Jewish Republican in Congress is set to become the new majority leader of the United States House of Representatives after the party made massive gains at the mid-term elections.

Eric Cantor, who won the Virginia seat he has held since 2000, has been the minority whip since 2008. The Republican landslide means he is expected to step into a more influential role.

The role is the second most powerful in the House leadership. Mr Cantor will take over from Democrat Steny Hoyer.

In a victory speech, Mr Cantor said: "The future is in our hands, so let's roll up our sleeves, let's get to work.

“The result must be to return America to the land of opportunity, responsibility and success.

"We will get to work right away to reduce the deficit by cutting federal spending next year down to 2008 levels.”

Republicans needed 39 seats to gain the majority in the House, and initial reports suggest they have taken nearly 60, the largest shift since the 1940s.

The Democrats lost several seats but managed to maintain a majority it the Senate.

Last updated: 3:40pm, November 3 2010