Eric Cantor is a lifelong resident of the Richmond area. While attending George Washington University, he got his political start interning with Congressman Tom Bliley and served as his driver on his first re-election campaign. He then attended the College of William and Mary, where he received his law degree, and went on to get his Masters at Columbia University in New York. While in New York, Eric met his wife Diana and brought her back to Virginia where they now raise their three children, Evan, Jenna and Michael, who attend Henrico County Public Schools.
Before his election to Congress, Eric served in the Virginia House of Delegates for nine years and achieved a record of accomplishment as a state legislator that was recognized by groups such as Virginia Free, the leading pro-business organization in Virginia, as well as the Virginia Family Foundation and the Virginia Health Care Association.
On January 3, 2001 , Eric was sworn in as U.S. Congressman for Virginia's Seventh District. During his first term in Congress, Eric served on the House Financial Services Committee and on the House International Relations Committee.
On April 1, 2001 , Eric was selected to serve as Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare. The task force is a coalition of Members of Congress studying the threats international terrorism poses to the U.S. and develops policy proposals and legislative recommendations regarding the fight against terrorism.
In November 2002, Eric won reelection to Congress, obtaining 70% of the vote. Shortly after his reelection, Eric was selected to serve as Chief Deputy Majority Whip, the highest appointed position in the House of Representatives.
As Chief Deputy Majority Whip, Eric has a seat at the Republican leadership table in the House where he will help set the policy agenda in Congress. The post of chief deputy whip was previously held by Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), now the Majority Whip, and by the current Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).
On January 10, 2003 , Eric won a seat on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which has direct jurisdiction over taxes, trade, Social Security, Medicare, prescription drugs for seniors, health care and welfare reform.
With Virginia 's and America 's future being shaped by the critical work of the Ways and Means Committee, the news of this committee assignment was welcome news to the people of Virginia 's Seventh District. From taxes to trade to health care, the Ways and Means Committee will be the lead committee in Congress working to bring greater economic security and jobs to the American people.
Congressman Cantor is the 34th Virginian to be appointed to the Ways and Means Committee. James Madison was the first Virginian to serve on the committee during the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Congresses. John Tyler served on the committee during the 16th Congress. However, in the last two decades, only one other Virginian has served on the committee.
Eric's community leadership, commitment to public service and strong family values reflect upon his work in the U.S. Congress.
The first measure Eric introduced to Congress was the Education Empowerment Tax Credit Act, would provide for a $1,000 per-child education tax credit for all parents with school-age children. The bill would empower parents with the resources to meet their children's individual education needs. The credit could be used toward the purchase of computers, encyclopedias, tutors, special education needs and even tuition.
In the U.S. Congress, Eric has also proven his success as a legislator. On January 31, 2001, Eric became the first freshman member of the 107th Congress to author legislation that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.
On February 28th, 2003, Eric was appointed by Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert to the United States Holocaust Museum Council. The Holocaust Memorial Museum is America's national institution for the documentation, study and interpretation of Holocaust history, and serves as this country's memorial to the millions of people murdered during the Holocaust. Eric's appointment follows years of involvement in the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond.
On April 10th, 2003, President George Bush nominated Eric to the Board of Trustees of the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation. The Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 for the purpose of improving teaching about the United States Constitution in secondary schools.
At home in Richmond, Eric maintains his commitment to community through his participation on several community boards and associations including the Western Henrico Rotary, Fraternal Lodge No. 53 AF and AM, and the Board of Trustees for the Virginia Holocaust Museum.