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WASHINGTON Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana has been chosen as the majority whip by the Republican Party, basically making him the third-ranking Republican in the House.

Scalise's new position is part of a quick rise to the top echelon of party leadership in the six years since he was first elected in 2008.

Scalise was chosen on the first ballot.

'I really congratulate Steve, who's such a solid, common sense conservative in the best of our Louisiana traditions,' said U.S. Senator David Vitter, R-La. 'His election is particularly great news for Louisiana and our delegation as we work to address our state's pressing challenges.'

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