In recent years House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., has seen fit to send a member of his GOP leadership team off campus during the State of the Union speech, a la the president and a member of his cabinet. As with the administrative branch, the idea is that if the unthinkable were to happen and the Capitol and all of us in it were obliterated, then the nation would be afforded some kind of political continuity, led by those who survived. In recent years the Democrats have also followed this practice.
Anywho, this year the Republican individual charged with carrying on should Congress be wiped out is Rep. Eric Cantor, a Republican from Richmond, Va. Cantor is currently the chief deputy majority whip. If that doesn't impress you, he is expected to move up to majority whip when the House GOP holds its leadership elections on Thursday.
The missing Democrat will be Rep. George Miller, Calif., perhaps Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's closest confidant in the House Democratic caucus.