The major contenders to be selected by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.):
* Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) – Member of leadership team who throws sharp elbows on 2010 healthcare law.
* Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) – Ranking member of Finance Committee told The Hill, “I can live with [being appointed] or live without it.” Some point out that Hatch, who could face a primary challenge next year, will not be keen on finding common ground with Democrats.
* Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) – McConnell’s deputy participated in the Biden talks and is not seeking reelection.
* Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) – Portman, a former Budget Director in George W. Bush’s administration, has been mentioned a lot in recent days. The former House Ways and Means Committee member is widely respected on both sides of the aisle.