As House majority leader, Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia has enjoyed a bump in salary, a large political staff, an elegant office suite on the second floor of the Capitol and a security detail that drove him to and from his suburban Richmond home.
On Aug. 1, those perks will belong to someone else.
A consequence of Cantor's loss in a primary Tuesday and his decision to resign as the No. 2 House Republican at the end of July is that he will spend his final five months in office with the privileges of merely an ordinary congressman.
Cantor, floored by an upset by a Tea Party challenger, will have to cope with a reduced status. He would have avoided this fate had he waited to relinquish his leadership post until he left Congress in January, as many retiring congressional leaders do.
For the first time in five years, Cantor will either have to drive himself to work or assign the job to a member of his staff. The U.S. Capitol Police provides only the congressional leadership with permanent security, a perk Cantor voiced appreciation for when he announced his plans Wednesday to step down.
"I've gotten to know their often unheralded services that really are second to none, and it's been an honor to be in their company," Cantor said. In March 2010, a stray bullet broke a windowpane in the building leased by Cantor's re-election campaign, which led Cantor to ask for additional security.
John Feehery, who served as former Speaker Dennis Hastert's top spokesman, predicted that Cantor would suddenly rediscover the privacy he gave up in return for the security entourage. But his final months will be a big departure for him.
"He'll bring his car up and park in the garage just like everyone else," Feehery said.
Cantor will also see a dip in his paycheck beginning in August: He will lose about $20,000 in yearly salary, from $193,400 down to the $174,000 paid to ordinary congressman, when he resigns his leadership post.
In exchange, Cantor will find a leaner schedule, free from the constant travel and political obligations that are required of the majority leader.
"Frankly, he's going to have a huge weight off his shoulders," Feehery said. "You get your life back."