Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives today will vote on whether they would like to see Louisiana 1st District Representative Steve Scalise, from Jefferson parish, as the chamber's next majority whip.
Scalise is facing competition from two other Congressman, but LSU Political Science Professor Robert Hogan says Scalise has more than a decent shot of being selected for this spot.
"He's associated himself with those elements of the party that appear to have the upper hand in the caucus right now and that seems to position him really well to have a good shot at winning this," Hogan says.
Whip is number three job in the House organization chart, and it is a very powerful position.
"It's behind the Speaker and the Majority leader of the majority party," said Hogan. "The whip is responsible for getting the votes the leadership needs to achieve its goals."
So what would it mean for Louisiana if a member of its delegation had such a major leadership role in the House? Hogan says if Scalise became Whip, he could also help advance Louisiana's agenda.
"Leaders are in a key position to get what they want and to bring home important resources for their state and their district," said Hogan.
WWL's Garland Robinette interviewed political analyst Ron Fauchaux about Scalise's chances to become whip. Fauchaux said Scalise has a good chance.
"I think most Capitol Hill handicappers right now handicap him as the favorite," Fauchaux said. "There's a strong desire, I think, on the part of a lot of Republican members of the House to elect a Southerner to the position."
Listen to Garland's interview with Ron Fauchaux:
Not since the early 1970s, when Hale Boggs was majority whip and later majority leader, has a Louisiana member held such a high position of leadership. One of Scalise's predecessors in the 1st District, Bob Livingston, was poised to become speaker in 1999. However, amid the impeachment of President Bill Clinton on charges of lying to a grand jury and obstruction of justice, in a case related to the president's extramarital affairs, Livingston became embroiled in his own sex scandal, and opted to resign before taking the position.