NEW ORLEANS -- Steve Scalise, one of the most influential men in congress, faces a long road to recovery. Will someone need to fill his shoes in the meantime?

Republican lawmakers first elected Steve Scalise to be House Majority Whip in 2014.

Wednesday's shooting in Virginia, injuring Scalise and leaving him in critical condition, left the third ranking Republican in the House on a long road to recovery.

"Predicting the length of his hospital stay is difficult today," said Dr. Jack Sava with MedStar Washington Hospital said. "Presumably it'll be easier in some days when more time has passed and we have more information. After he leaves the hospital he will require a period of healing and of rehabilitation."

Even though it's still uncertain how long that recovery period will last, Political Scientist Dr. Edward Chervenak says Scalise won't lose his position.

"The only one that can decide that seat is vacant is him," Chervenak said.

Chervenak tells us we will like see Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry from North Carolina come in and temporarily fill his shoes.

"He (Scalise) also has five senior whips as well, you know, to continue the process of Marshalling GOP votes for specific legislation," Chervenak said.

As Congressman Scalise recovers, his staff members will also continue serving his district.

"His constituency service won't fall off either cause he has a staff both in Washington and he has four satellite offices in the first congressional district. So they'll be able to serve the need of his constituents," Chervenak said.