Steve Scalise is a veteran Republican politician who has served as the House Majority Leader since 2023. He is also the U.S. Representative for Louisiana’s 1st congressional district, which covers most of the suburbs of New Orleans. He has been in Congress since 2008 and has held various leadership positions, such as House Majority Whip and House Minority Whip.
Table of Contents
Early Life and Career
Scalise was born on October 6, 1965, in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is one of three children of a real estate broker and a homemaker. He graduated from Louisiana State University in 1989 with a degree in computer science. He worked as a systems engineer before entering politics.
When Steve Scalise started a political career
He started his political career in 1995 when he was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives. He served there for 12 years, becoming the chairman of the Appropriations Committee and the vice chairman of the Budget Committee. He also served in the Louisiana Senate for four months in 2008, before winning a special election to fill the vacant seat of Bobby Jindal, who became the governor of Louisiana.
Congressional Career and Leadership Roles
As a member of Congress, Scalise has been known for his conservative views on issues such as gun rights, immigration, health care, and taxes. He has been a loyal supporter of former President Donald Trump and objected to the certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. He has also been an advocate for energy independence and disaster relief for his state.
Scalise has risen through the ranks of the Republican leadership over the years. He was elected as the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative lawmakers, in 2013. He became the House Majority Whip, the third-highest-ranking position in the Republican leadership, in 2014. He was responsible for counting votes and ensuring support for key party priorities.
He became the House Minority Whip in 2019
He became the House Minority Whip in 2019 after the Republicans lost their majority in the House of Representatives. He continued to serve as the chief vote counter and strategist for his party. He became the House Majority Leader in 2023 after Kevin McCarthy withdrew from the race for Speaker of the House due to a lack of support from his own party and some hardline conservatives. Scalise is the first Louisiana to serve as majority leader since Hale Boggs in 1971.
Personal Challenges and Controversies
Scalise has faced several personal challenges and controversies during his political career. In 2017, he was shot and seriously wounded by an anti-Trump gunman who targeted Republicans at a baseball practice for a charity game. He underwent several surgeries and months of rehabilitation before returning to Congress in September 2017. He received bipartisan praise for his courage and resilience.
In 2018, Steve Scalise was Diagnosed with Blood Cancer
Scalise has also faced criticism for his past associations with white supremacists and extremists. In 2014, it was revealed that he had spoken at a conference organized by a group founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke in 2002. Scalise apologized and said he was unaware of the group’s ideology at the time. He also compared himself to Duke in a 1999 interview, saying that he had more political appeal than him.
In 2018, he was diagnosed with blood cancer, which he announced publicly in January 2019. He underwent chemotherapy and stem cell transplant treatment, which put him into remission by July 2019. He credited his faith and family for helping him overcome his health issues.
Scalise has denied being racist or anti-Semitic and has condemned hate groups and violence. He has also received support from some African-American and Jewish lawmakers who vouched for his character and record.
No, Steve Scalise is not the speaker of the House of Representatives. He dropped out of the race on Thursday, October 12, 2023, after failing to secure enough votes from his own party. He faced opposition from some hardline conservatives who preferred Jim Jordan, a co-founder of the Freedom Caucus. The House remains without a speaker as Republicans try to find a consensus candidate.
Steve Scalise is one of the most influential and powerful politicians in America today. He is the leader of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives and a close ally of former President Trump. He has also overcome several personal challenges, such as surviving a shooting and battling cancer. He has been praised for his leadership skills and perseverance but also criticized for his controversial views and associations.