U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, became the third most powerful Republican in the House of Representatives this afternoon when he was elected Majority Whip in the first round of balloting.
Scalise defeated the current chief deputy whip, Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois, as well as Rep. Marlin A. Stutzman of Indiana for the post. He succeeds Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, who ascended to Majority Leader after the reigning majority leader, Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, was defeated last week in a primary and resigned the position.
Scalise has represented Louisiana's 1st Congressional District since 2008, and chairs the powerful Republican Study Committee.
So: what does a whip do? The Washington Post
has a good primer
on the duties, along with job descriptions for the two senior positions, Speaker of the House (currently held by Rep. John Boehner) and Majority Leader. For more on Scalise's sudden turn of good fortune, read Clancy DuBos' column this week, "Steve Scalise and the Butterfly Effect."