What is House Majority Whip? And how does Rep. Scalise's role impact Louisiana?

Representative Steve Scalise is the third ranking Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives and a Five-Term Republican from Louisiana.

NEW ORLEANS -- Representative Steve Scalise is the third ranking Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives and a Five-Term Republican from Louisiana.

But what does Scalise do as House Majority Whip?

"The Whip's specific job is to literally 'Whip' up support for the prevailing party's position on any particular bill," Clancy DuBos, WWL-TV Political Analyst said.

DuBos tells Eyewitness News that responsibility could mean gaining support for bills, tallying up votes from lawmakers and reporting that information to the Speaker of the House. It is a position that also puts Scalise in a great spot for the State of Louisiana.

"Any time the nation is going through an austerity or budget cutting kind of phase, all members of congress want to protect what their districts have," Dubos said. "Steve Scalise being the majority whip and having the ear of the President is in a very good position to protect Louisiana's interests."

Sometimes protecting the state's interest crosses over party lines. Scalise's close relationship to Democratic Representative and longtime friend Cedric Richmond is the perfect example.

"They have a friendship that dates back to their days together in the Lousisiana house," DuBos said.

Richmond talked about their bond Thursday after visiting Scalise and his family at the hospital.

"I know Steve and I know that he is a fighter," Rep. Cedric Richmond said, "And whether that fight is for two weeks, two months, two years, we know he will fight all the way to the end."

"Richmond, in the course of being the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and Scalise in terms of being the House Majority Whip, can put together coalitions of Democratic and Republican congressman to pass bills and amendments that favor Louisiana, and they've done that since they've been up there," DuBos said.

It's not just Richmond. Scalise and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's relationship also dates back several years.

"They tease each other about being separated at birth. They also go back to their days together in the Louisiana House of Representatives. Landrieu was a State Representative before he became Lieutenant Governor. And Scalise was a state representative around the same time," DuBos said.

Those close relationships, both from Republicans and Democrats is why DuBos says so many lawmakers are wishing Scalise well and are hoping he makes a speedy recovery.

"He's a guy that you can disagree with, but he's not going to be disagreeable with you on a personal level," DuBos said.

DuBos also says Scalise is very loyal to President Donald Trump.

Of the three members of House leadership, DuBos says Scalise is closer personally to President Trump than House Speaker Paul Ryan or Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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