Cantor is poised to become majority leader if the GOP takes back the House, and, Politico reports, he’s “notably avoiding a few hot button political issues as he promotes the GOP agenda during the August recess.

He’s not talking about changing the 14th amendment, he doesn’t think votes will turn on the ground zero mosque controversy and he doesn’t seem eager to embrace the culture war issues that defined the prior Republican congressional majority.

And in a stark contrast to the mood in Washington, Cantor avoided taking shots at Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama as he visited with business leaders, toured a charter school and spoke to a conservative Republican group in Hanover County on Friday.

Cantor said his party might “roll back their ban on earmarks, as long as the spending items have ‘merit.’” And he stressed what he called Republicans’ seriousness on spending. But this bit is frustrating:

Cantor also says Republicans would focus on spending, ending the automatic federal pay raise and the building of bike paths, which he considers “nice, but certainly shouldn’t be the priority.”

Bike paths?

Politico isn’t the first to report on the Republican agenda. For more in this department, check out Ezra Klein’s recent, and revealing, interview with Paul Ryan, the top Republican on the House Budget Committee.

The GOP agenda is going to be a hot topic in the coming weeks, and it’s good to go after an early glimpse of the party’s plan, before it’s formally rolled out next month and the party’s young guns, including Cantor, release a book on the young conservative movement.

Holly Yeager is CJR's Peterson Fellow, covering fiscal and economic policy. She is based in Washington and reachable at