Louisiana may see more power in the U.S. House of Representatives if U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, is successful in his bid this week to become House Majority Whip. (See Clancy DuBos' column)
The unexpected defeat of U.S House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a June 10 GOP primary in Virginia, and Cantor's announcement that he would be stepping down from the job next month, created a leadership vacuum in the Republican wing of the House. U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the current whip, is expected to succeed Cantor, leaving the whip job open.
Scalise served three terms in the Louisiana House of Representatives before running for Congress in 2007 and has cruised to re-election twice. He currently chairs the Republican Study Committee, a large conservative House caucus that counts among its members U.S. Rep. John Fleming, R-Minden, as well as high-profile GOP stars such as U.S. Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Steve King of Iowa and Cantor. Scalise also has been a highly effective fundraiser and recruiter for Republican House candidates.
Elections for House majority leader and whip will be held June 19.