Congressman Steve Scalise officially takes the role of House Majority Whip today.
It gives Louisiana a level of influence in Washington politics it has not had for a long time. 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.
Being in that position means a lot of influence. For example, Boggs' power as Whip helped bring about the NFL anti-trust vote that led to the creation of the New Orleans Saints. For Louisiana today, Scalise's influence could mean a greater say in the debate for federal funding of critical infrastructure.
"Levees, waterways, bridges, highways," said political analyst Bernie Pinsonat. "The ascendancy of Steve Scalise is Louisiana returning to having someone in a very powerful position."
Listen to analyst Bernie Pinsonat:
In 1999, Louisiana Congressman Bob Livingston almost became Speaker of the House, but stepped down just days before officially taking the position, due to an extramarital affair that became public amid the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton.