The Republican Steering Committee is expected this week to decide who will lead the House Financial Services Committee.
Reps. Spencer Bachus and Ed Royce, who are battling for the gavel, are each due to present their pitch to the Steering Committee Tuesday on why they would make the best chairman.
Bachus and Royce will give an oral presentation separately behind closed doors to the panel without staff, which is made up of members of GOP leadership in which incoming Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and incoming Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia will have the most sway with weighted votes. The Steering Committee is also composed of members representing geographic areas and committee leaders.
Bachus, an Alabama Republican who has served as the panel's ranking member since 2007, is considered the front-runner.
Steering Committee members historically stick mostly to seniority, but also consider a range of other factors including how much a candidate has participated in fund raising for the party, popularity, stature, leadership skills and other subjective criteria.
Royce, a California Republican well known for his leadership on the Foreign Affairs Committee, announced Nov. 3 that he was challenging Bachus for the top slot on Financial Services.
He is in line to become the No. 3 GOP member and was credited for his contribution to the Dodd-Frank Act conference committee.
Bachus has said he has the chairmanship in the bag, including support from Boehner, and intends to rely heavily on other committee members, including subcommittee chairmen, in setting the panel's agenda.
Both he and Royce have put reform of the government-sponsored enterprises and oversight of Dodd-Frank at the top of their agendas, but Royce has argued that he has more credibility on the GSEs because of his early support for limiting the portfolios of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Royce has also argued that he would be a stronger leader, better able to craft policy, build consensus and take a tough stance with the panel's senior Democrat and notoriously hard-charging debater, Rep. Barney Frank.