It has been a quick rise up the political ladder for Steve Scalise, the Jefferson congressman who will today become the No. 3 Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives.
As majority whip, Scalise — first elected from his largely Jefferson Parish and Northshore district in 2008 — has a seat at the leadership table. That’s important to Louisiana, certainly, in boosting the influence of the state’s delegation. In the past, that clout has been accrued by long-serving members in the House; today, Louisiana’s delegation is relatively junior in years of service.
And if it is a rapid rise for Scalise, he was a veteran of the Louisiana House before running for Congress. He knows how to be a legislator.
He steps up to whip under extraordinary circumstances: The defeat of the GOP leader in a primary election allowed the previous whip to move up, opening an opportunity for Scalise.
It’s a big step, and we congratulate Scalise on his new post.