U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, who has represented Louisiana's 1st District for eight years, is the third-most powerful Republican in the House of Representatives. His position as majority whip gives him the ability to put Louisiana's interests in front of House leaders.

Most recently, his leadership was vital in getting $500 million in aid after 20 Louisiana parishes were swamped by historic flooding. Much more federal assistance will be needed to repair the damage, and Rep. Scalise promises to fight for it.

In 2015, he worked to get the 40-year ban on crude oil exports lifted, which is good for Louisiana's economy. The change in policy allows U.S. companies to compete globally in ways they could not before.

He played a key role in 2014 in the passage of flood insurance reforms to prevent devastating premium hikes for policyholders and coastal communities across south Louisiana.

In 2012, he was instrumental in the passage of the Restore Act, which ensures that 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines levied against BP will be directed to the Gulf Coast states. That was an important protection for BP's $20 billion settlement of the government's environmental damage claims for its massive 2010 spill.

Rep. Scalise also has helped keep President Barack Obama from taking away federal oil and gas revenue-sharing payments that Congress promised to Louisiana beginning in 2017.

The BP settlement and the revenue-sharing money are vital to jumpstarting the state's coastal restoration master plan.

There is a reason Rep. Scalise is successful. He is a likable guy who is skilled at building coalitions. That is a rare quality in an age when many people in Congress seem unable or unwilling to work with other members.

 "It's a relationship business. You've got to build relationships with people ... I have a very strong relationship with every member, and I cherish that. We work hard at it. We like bringing our southern Louisiana culture to D.C.," he told the Baton Rouge Business Report.

Louisiana has lost seniority and clout in Congress in recent years, which makes Rep. Scalise's position more important than ever. He is the clear choice for the 1st District  on Election Day.

 

Read the full endorsement here: http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/10/steve_scalise_endorsement.html