House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot in the hip Wednesday morning during a baseball practice in Virginia.
Scalise, a five-term Republican from Louisiana, rose quickly through the ranks of leadership early in his career.
In 2012, he won a hard-fought battle to lead the Republican Study Committee – at the time, the most conservative bloc of Republicans in the House. Later, when then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was upset in a 2014 primary race, Scalise ran and won the spot as House majority whip – the third-ranking Republican in the House.
Inside Congress, Scalise has been described as a pragmatic conservative and has helped bridge the widening rifts between stark conservatives and more traditional Republicans.
As the House majority whip, Scalise is tasked with tracking other Republican members and ensuring there are enough votes to win approval of key priorities, like repealing Obamacare.
Scalise oversees a team of deputy whips and was a key player in corralling support for the Republican health care bill. The job is highly valued among Republicans looking to rise within the ranks of power in the House.
McCarthy was the House majority whip in 2014, and was on track to become the House speaker in 2015, but withdrew from the race after he said the House Benghazi probe was politically targeted at Hillary Clinton.
As he was running for House Majority Whip, a scandal emerged when it was revealed Scalise had spoken to a group led by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke in 2002. Scalise called it a mistake and apologized. Then-House Speaker John Boehner supported Scalise and Rep. Cedric Richmond, a black Democrat from Louisiana, also supported Scalise.
Scalise won the House seat in Louisiana that was vacated by Bobby Jindal when he ran for governor in 2007.
He is avid baseball fan and has played on the congressional team since he entered Congress. His leadership office is lined with pictures from past years’ games.
Scalise, 51, was a computer systems engineer before joining Congress. He and his wife, Jennifer Scalise, have two children.