|House Majority Whip|
August 1, 2014
|Preceded by||Kevin McCarthy|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Louisiana's 1st district
May 3, 2008
|Preceded by||Bobby Jindal|
|Member of the Louisiana Senate|
from the 9th district
January 14, 2008 – May 6, 2008
|Preceded by||Ken Hollis|
|Succeeded by||Conrad Appel|
|Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives|
from the 82nd district
January 8, 1996 – January 14, 2008
|Preceded by||Quentin Dastugue|
|Succeeded by||Cameron Henry|
|Born||Stephen Joseph Scalise|
(1965-10-06) October 6, 1965 (age 52)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
|Education||Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge(BS)|
Stephen Joseph Scalise (; born October 6, 1965) is the current United States House of Representatives Majority Whip and representative for Louisiana's 1st congressional district, serving since 2008. He is a member of the Republican Party and was the chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee.
Prior to his congressional tenure, Scalise served for four months in the Louisiana State Senate and twelve years in the Louisiana House of Representatives. On June 19, 2014, Scalise was elected by his Republican colleagues to serve as Majority Whip of the United States House of Representatives. He assumed office on August 1. He is the first Louisianian in the Majority Whip's position since DemocratHale Boggs of Louisiana's 2nd congressional district held the position from 1962 to 1971. In 2017, Scalise became the dean of the Louisiana Congressional delegation upon the retirement of former senator David Vitter.
On June 14, 2017, Scalise was shot at a practice session for the congressional baseball team in Virginia, and was taken to the hospital in critical condition. On September 28, 2017, he returned to the House, where he gave a speech about his experience related to the traumatic events.
Scalise was born in New Orleans, one of three children of Alfred Joseph Scalise, a real estate broker who died on October 8, 2015, at the age of 77, and the former Carol Schilleci. His siblings are Joe, Brian, and Tara Scalise.
Scalise graduated from Archbishop Rummel High School in Metairie in Jefferson Parish and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, with a major in computer science and a minor in political science. At Louisiana State University, Scalise was a member of the Acacia Fraternity. He serves on the board of the American Italian Renaissance Foundation, servicing the American Italian Cultural Center. He married Jennifer Ann Scalise (née Letulle) on April 9, 2005. The couple has two children.
Republican (formerly Democratic) State Representative Quentin D. Dastugue made an unsuccessful bid for Governor of Louisiana in 1995, dropping out before the nonpartisan blanket primary. Scalise was recruited by state Republicans to run for Dastugue's District 82 seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives, winning his election bid. Scalise was re-elected to the seat in 1999 and 2003, serving until 2007. His legislative peers named him to the House Appropriations Committee as the representative of the First Congressional District. Scalise opposed the 2002 Stelly Plan, a proposal by Lake Charles Representative Vic Stelly, since repealed, to reduce certain state sales taxes on food for home consumption and utilities in exchange for higher state income taxes.
Scalise was elected in the October 20, 2007, nonpartisan blanket primary to the District 9 seat in the Louisiana Senate vacated by the term-limited Ken Hollis of Metairie. Scalise received 19,154 votes (61 percent) in a three-way contest. Fellow Republican Polly Thomas, an education professor at the University of New Orleans who subsequently won a special state House election in 2016, polled 8,948 votes (29 percent). A Democrat, David Gereighty, polled 3,154 votes (10 percent) in the heavily Republican-oriented district. Scalise, who was term-limited out of the House, was succeeded in the state House by his aide, Cameron Henry of Metairie.
In the special election on November 4, 2008, to fill the remaining three and one-half years in Scalise's state Senate term, Conrad Appel defeated Polly Thomas, 21,853 (52.1 percent) to 20,065 (47.9 percent). Thomas had also lost the race for the seat in 2007 to Scalise.
U.S. House of Representatives
On being asked by The Times-Picayune of New Orleans to assign DemocratBarack Obama a letter grade for Obama's first 100 days as President, Scalise awarded the new president an L (for "liberal").
In 2011, Scalise became a co-sponsor of Bill H.R.3261 otherwise known as the Stop Online Piracy Act (withdrawn January 23, 2012). As chairman of the Republican Study Committee, Scalise dismissed Derek Khanna, a committee staffer, in December 2012 because of pressure from content industry lobbyists after the study committee published a memo advocating copyright reform.
In 2013, Scalise voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Also in 2013, Scalise sponsored a bill called the FCC Consolidated Reporting Act. The bill makes the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) consolidate several of their reports into one report.
In December 2017, Scalise voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Scalise says that the bill will "put more money in the pockets of hard-working families."
In the aftermath of Rep. Eric Cantor's unexpected defeat by David Brat on June 10, 2014, Scalise launched a campaign to replace Rep. Kevin McCarthy in the position of Majority Whip of the House; McCarthy himself would replace Cantor as House Majority Leader. Scalise's ascent to leadership built on his "come-from-behind win in 2012 to become chairman" of the Republican Study Committee. Scalise subsequently won a three-way race for whip, winning on the first ballot despite the efforts of fellow candidates Peter Roskam and Marlin Stutzman. He came under fire for using the assistance of a federal lobbyist, John Feehery, when hiring staff for the Majority Leader's Press Office.
Scalise has been an opponent of gun control and was given an "A+ rating" from the National Rifle Association. After being shot, and in the wake of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, Scalise said on Meet the Press, that he is still a gun rights support and "Don’t try to put new laws in place that don’t fix these problems. They only make it harder for law-abiding citizens to own a gun.” Scalise has described the Second Amendment as "unlimited."
Scalise supported President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to impose a temporary ban on entry to the U.S. to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries. He stated that "It's very prudent to say, 'Let's be careful about who comes into our country to make sure that they're not terrorists.'"
Scalise does not believe that federal funding should support organizations that offer abortions, unless the pregnancy threatens a mother's life.
Scalise has a "D" rating from NORML for his voting history regarding cannabis-related causes. He opposes the legalization of marijuana, believing it is a "gateway drug" for other drugs. Scalise opposes veterans having access to medical marijuana if recommended by their Veterans Health Administration doctor and if it is legal for medicinal purposes in their state of residence.
Scalise has a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign for his LGBT-related voting record. The Washington Blade calls Scalise one of "the most anti-LGBT reputations of any lawmaker." He opposed Don't Ask Don't Tell and does not believe that sexuality should be included under hate crime laws. He is opposed to same-sex marriage.
2008 special election
Main article: Louisiana's 1st congressional district special election, 2008
In 2004, Scalise announced that he would run for the U.S. House but thereafter deferred to the preference of party leaders and supported Jindal, who won the position vacated by the successful U.S. senatorial candidate, David Vitter.
In 2007, when Jindal was elected to the governorship of Louisiana, Scalise announced his intentions to seek the seat yet again. This time he received Republican party backing.
Scalise's strongest Republican primary opponent, State RepresentativeTimothy G. "Tim" Burns from Mandeville in St. Tammany Parish, accused Scalise of push polling, a practice in which a campaign contacts voters by telephone and asks probing questions which leave a negative impression of his opponent. Scalise defended his poll from criticism by Burns: "We were running a public opinion survey this week conducted by the largest Republican polling firm in the country, Public Opinion Strategies. . . . conducted with a sample of 300 people, and it shows Scalise at 57 percent, Burns at 26 percent and undecided at 17 percent The margin of error is 5.6 percent. We ran a fact-based public opinion survey, not a push poll."
In the March 8, 2008, Republican primary, Scalise polled 16,799 votes (48 percent). He went on to win the runoff election on April 5 against Burns, who received 9,631 votes (28 percent) in the initial primary.
In the May 3 general election, Scalise received 33,867 votes (75.13 percent) to Democrat Gilda Reed's 10,142 ballots (22.5 percent). Two minor candidates polled the remaining 2.36 percent of the vote. Reed was a favorite of organized labor and the Democratic constituency groups. The First District has been Republican since 1977, when Bob Livingston won a special election.
Scalise was sworn in on May 7, 2008.
Main article: United States House of Representatives elections in Louisiana, 2008 § District 1
In the regularly scheduled election, Scalise was reelected over Democrat Jim Harlan, 66 percent to 34 percent.
Main article: United States House of Representatives elections in Louisiana, 2010 § District 1
Scalise defeated the Democratic nominee, Myron Katz, and an Independent, Arden Wells, in his 2010 bid for reelection.
In June 2009, Scalise joined Dan Kyle, the former legislative auditor and the treasurer of the Louisiana GOP, as directors of a national presidential fund-raising effort promoting Governor Jindal. According to Kyle, the group hoped to raise $60 million to persuade Jindal to seek the 2012 party nomination. Others on the committee include former State Representative Woody Jenkins. Former Republican State SenatorTom Schedler of Slidell had his name removed from the group, not because he opposes Jindal but because such fund-raising activity could conflict with Schedler's role at the time as first assistant to Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne. In 2010, Schedler succeeded Dardenne as secretary of state.
In his own 2012 congressional race, Scalise prevailed with 193,490 votes (66.6 percent) over four opponents, the strongest of which was the Democrat M. V. "Vinny" Mendoza, who finished with 61,979 votes (21.3 percent). A second Republican, Gary King, received 24,838 votes (8.6 percent). Independent Arden Wells ran again and received 4,285 votes (1.5 percent) in his second race against Scalise.
In the 2016 presidential elections, Steve Scalise endorsed Republican candidate Donald Trump, who would go on to win the presidency.
European-American Unity and Rights Organization convention speaker
In 2002, Scalise was a speaker at a convention for the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO), a group which was founded by David Duke. This was revealed in 2014, after political bloggerLamar White, Jr. uncovered anonymous comments from 2002 on Stormfront, a white supremacist website, which made reference to Scalise as a 2002 speaker at the convention. Scalise confirmed that he had spoken at the EURO conference in 2002 and stated at the time he did not know of the "racist nature of the group". Scalise said he spoke about state tax legislation and that EURO was “one of the many groups that I spoke to regarding this critical legislation" further stating that this is a group "whose views I wholeheartedly condemn". Scalise apologized for speaking to the group saying, "It was a mistake I regret, and I emphatically oppose the divisive racial and religious views groups like these hold."
Various Louisiana politicians, including Republican Governor Bobby Jindal and Democratic Congressman Cedric Richmond defended Scalise's character.Speaker of the HouseJohn Boehner voiced his continued confidence in Scalise as Majority Whip. Several Democratic members of Congress, as well as Mo Elleithee, a spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee, criticized Scalise, and challenged his statement that he was not aware of the group's affiliation with racism and anti-Semitism. Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center called upon Scalise to step down from his leadership position as Majority Whip.
Main article: 2017 Congressional baseball shooting
On Wednesday, June 14, 2017, at 7:09 am EDT, Scalise and three other people were shot and wounded by James Hodgkinson, who opened fire with a rifle during a baseball practice of the Republican team for the annual Congressional Baseball Game. The practice was taking place at the Eugene Simpson Baseball Fields in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia. Scalise, the only member of Congress to be hit, was shot in the hip. Representative Mo Brooks, who was also at the practice, witnessed the attack and said he saw someone with a rifle behind the third base dugout. Brooks then heard Scalise scream from second base. Scalise crawled into right field, bleeding. Senator Jeff Flake and Representative Brad Wenstrup, a former podiatrist, ran to assist Scalise after Hodgkinson was shot. Senator Rand Paul, also a witness, said he heard "as many as 50 shots". Scalise, initially conscious, went into shock while being taken to MedStar Washington Hospital Center in critical condition, where he underwent immediate surgery.
Scalise was hit by a single rifle bullet that "travelled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding". Dr. Jack Sava at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center said that "when he arrived, he was in critical condition with an imminent risk of death". But by June 16, although still in critical condition, "We have controlled internal bleeding and his vital signs have stabilized". Scalise will require additional operations to manage abdominal and bone injuries; it was not known how long he would have to stay in the hospital, and would need to convalesce on leaving. Sava stated he was a lot more optimistic about his recovery than he was around the time of the shooting. He stated that even though Scalise remained in critical condition, the doctors had controlled his internal bleeding and vital signs had been stabilized. On June 17 it was announced that his condition had improved to "serious" and he was responsive enough to talk with his family. On June 21, 2017, the hospital issued a press release stating: "Congressman Steve Scalise continues to make good progress. He is now listed in fair condition and is beginning an extended period of healing and rehabilitation."
On July 5, 2017, the Congressman was returned to the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) after becoming ill with an infection related to the shooting.
On July 13, 2017, it was reported that Congressman Scalise had undergone additional surgery and that his condition had been upgraded to fair. He was discharged from MedStar Washington Hospital Center on July 26, 2017, and subsequently went through a period of inpatient rehabilitation. On September 28, he returned to the House to applause and cheers, where he gave a speech about his experience related to the traumatic events.
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- ^ abcdDavid Choi (June 16, 2017). "Scalise doctor: He came in with an 'imminent risk of death,' recovery now a good possibility". - Business Insider. Archived from the original on January 18, 2018. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
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- ^Harrison, Julie, "Scalise’s FCC consolidation bill sails through House"Archived January 5, 2015, at the Wayback Machine., The Ripon Advance, 9-12-13. (Retrieved 9-12-13).
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- ^ ab
Read our 2017 Report Card for Scalise.
Scalise is shown as a purple triangle ▲ in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the House of Representatives positioned according to our liberal–conservative ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).
The chart is based on the bills Scalise has sponsored and cosponsored. See full analysis methodology.
Ratings from Advocacy Organizations
Steve Scalise sits on the following committees:
Scalise sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:
Taxation (43%)Science, Technology, Communications (29%)Crime and Law Enforcement (14%)Environmental Protection (14%)
Some of Scalise’s most recently sponsored bills include...
View All » | View Cosponsors »
As House Majority Whip, Scalise may be focused on his responsibilities other than introducing legislation, such as setting the chamber’s agenda, uniting his party, and brokering deals.
|Scalise’s Vote||Vote Description|
|Nay||S. 764: A bill to reauthorize and amend the National Sea Grant College Program Act, and for other purposes.|
Jul 14, 2016. Passed 306/117.
This bill was the vehicle for passage of the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, which is the form it was enacted it. Prior to amendments, the bill regarded defunding Planned Parenthood and the National Sea Grant College Program. As enacted, the bill created national ...
|Yea||H.R. 1314: Trade Act of 2015|
Oct 28, 2015. Passed 266/167.
This vote turned this bill into the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, by replacing the text of the bill in whole. H.R. 1314 was previously the Trade Act of 2015.
|Yea||H.R. 719: Continuing Appropriations Act, 2016|
Sep 30, 2015. Passed 277/151.
This was a vote to agree to the provisions to keep the government funded through December 11, 2015 that the Senate had added in a previous vote. With this vote, the House approved the Senate's changes to the bill, with the government funding provisions, sending ...
|Aye||H.R. 2146: Defending Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Act|
Jun 18, 2015. Passed 218/208.
This vote made H.R. 2146 the vehicle for passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal currently being negotiated. H.R. 2146 was originally introduced as a bill to address issues with retirement funds of federal law enforcement officers and firefighters. ...
|Yea||H.R. 2048: Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2015|
May 13, 2015. Passed 338/88.
The USA Freedom Act (H.R. 2048, Pub.L. 114–23) is a U.S. law enacted on June 2, 2015 that restored in modified form several provisions of the Patriot Act, which had expired the day before. The act imposes some new limits on the bulk collection of ...
|Aye||H.J.Res. 124 (113th): Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015|
Sep 17, 2014. Passed 319/108.
|No||H.R. 1947 (113th): Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013|
Jun 20, 2013. Failed 195/234.
|No||H.R. 6233 (112th): Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2012|
Aug 2, 2012. Passed 223/197.
|No||S. 365 (112th): Budget Control Act of 2011|
Aug 1, 2011. Passed 269/161.
The Budget Control Act of 2011 (Pub.L. 112–25, S. 365, 125 Stat. 240, enacted August 2, 2011) is a federal statute in the United States that was signed into law by President Barack Obama on August 2, 2011. The Act brought conclusion to the United ...
|Aye||H.R. 1249 (112th): Leahy-Smith America Invents Act|
Jun 23, 2011. Passed 304/117.
The Leahy–Smith America Invents Act (AIA) is a United States federal statute that was passed by Congress and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on September 16, 2011. The law represents the most significant change to the U.S. patent system since 1952, and ...
From May 2008 to Mar 2018, Scalise missed 408 of 7,024 roll call votes, which is 5.8%. This is much worse than the median of 2.3% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.
Show the numbers...
|Time Period||Votes Eligible||Missed Votes||Percent||Percentile|
The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including:
Steve Scalise is pronounced:
steev // skuh-LEES
The letters stand for sounds according to the following table:
|Letter||Sounds As In|
Capital letters indicate a stressed syllable.