Republican Whips (1897 to present)

James Albertus Tawney/tiles/non-collection/i/im_people_repwhip_2002_006_007.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Before serving as Chairman of Appropriations, James Tawney of Minnesota served as the first Republican Whip.
The Republican Whip assists the party leadership in managing the party's legislative program on the House floor. The Whip provides a communications network for the Republican members and mobilizes them for important party measures coming up for a vote. The title comes from Great Britain where the House of Commons has had party “whips” since the late 18th century. The term derives from fox hunting, where the “whipper in” is the person in charge of keeping the pack of foxhounds together.

The first Republican Whip was James A. Tawney of Minnesota who kept track of the whereabouts of Republican members for Speaker Thomas B. Reed of Maine. With only a slim majority, Reed relied upon Tawney to let him know when bills could be brought up for vote when more Republicans were in attendance than Democrats. Since then, subsequent Whips have served as a two-way bridge between the leadership and the rank-and-file members.

The Republican Whip has been an elective post for most of its history (Tawney may have been appointed by Reed). The selection usually comes during the organizing conference of Representatives-elect meeting just prior to the start of a new Congress. If the position becomes vacant during a Congress, a new Whip is elected at a subsequent conference.

When in the majority, the Whip is the third highest post in the conference. When in the minority the Whip is the second highest position behind the Republican Leader. Of the 17 members who have served as Republican Whip, one later became House Speaker, another Vice President, four served as Republican Leader, and three others as Senators.

Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana is the current Republican Whip. Information on the current activities of the Republican Whip is available at the House Republican Whip's website.

Congress and Years Name State or Territory
55th (1897–1899) TAWNEY, James Albertus MN
56th (1899–1901) TAWNEY, James Albertus MN
57th (1901–1903) TAWNEY, James Albertus MN
58th (1903–1905) TAWNEY, James Albertus MN
59th (1905–1907) WATSON, James Eli IN
60th (1907–1909) WATSON, James Eli IN
61st (1909–1911) DWIGHT, John Wilbur NY
62nd (1911–1913) DWIGHT, John Wilbur NY
63rd (1913–1915) BURKE, Charles Henry SD
64th (1915–1917) HAMILTON, Charles Mann NY
65th (1917–1919) HAMILTON, Charles Mann NY
66th (1919–1921) KNUTSON, Harold MN
67th (1921–1923) KNUTSON, Harold MN
68th (1923–1925) VESTAL, Albert Henry IN
69th (1925–1927) VESTAL, Albert Henry IN
70th (1927–1929) VESTAL, Albert Henry IN
71st (1929–1931) VESTAL, Albert Henry IN
72nd (1931–1933) VESTAL, Albert Henry 1 IN
72nd (1931–1933) BACHMANN, Carl George 2 WV
73rd (1933–1935) ENGLEBRIGHT, Harry Lane CA
74th (1935–1937) ENGLEBRIGHT, Harry Lane CA
75th (1937–1939) ENGLEBRIGHT, Harry Lane CA
76th (1939–1941) ENGLEBRIGHT, Harry Lane CA
77th (1941–1943) ENGLEBRIGHT, Harry Lane CA
78th (1943–1945) ENGLEBRIGHT, Harry Lane 3 CA
78th (1943–1945) ARENDS, Leslie Cornelius 4 IL
79th (1945–1947) ARENDS, Leslie Cornelius IL
80th (1947–1949) ARENDS, Leslie Cornelius IL
81st (1949–1951) ARENDS, Leslie Cornelius IL
82nd (1951–1953) ARENDS, Leslie Cornelius IL
83rd (1953–1955) ARENDS, Leslie Cornelius IL
84th (1955–1957) ARENDS, Leslie Cornelius IL
85th (1957–1959) ARENDS, Leslie Cornelius IL
86th (1959–1961) ARENDS, Leslie Cornelius IL
87th (1961–1963) ARENDS, Leslie Cornelius IL
88th (1963–1965) ARENDS, Leslie Cornelius IL
89th (1965–1967) ARENDS, Leslie Cornelius IL
90th (1967–1969) ARENDS, Leslie Cornelius IL
91st (1969–1971) ARENDS, Leslie Cornelius IL
92nd (1971–1973) ARENDS, Leslie Cornelius IL
93rd (1973–1975) ARENDS, Leslie Cornelius IL
94th (1975–1977) MICHEL, Robert Henry IL
95th (1977–1979) MICHEL, Robert Henry IL
96th (1979–1981) MICHEL, Robert Henry IL
97th (1981–1983) LOTT, Chester Trent MS
98th (1983–1985) LOTT, Chester Trent MS
99th (1985–1987) LOTT, Chester Trent MS
100th (1987–1989) LOTT, Chester Trent MS
101st (1989–1991) CHENEY, Richard Bruce 5 WY
101st (1989–1991) GINGRICH, Newton Leroy 6 GA
102nd (1991–1993) GINGRICH, Newton Leroy GA
103rd (1993–1995) GINGRICH, Newton Leroy GA
104th (1995–1997) DELAY, Thomas Dale TX
105th (1997–1999) DELAY, Thomas Dale TX
106th (1999–2001) DELAY, Thomas Dale TX
107th (2001–2003) DELAY, Thomas Dale TX
108th (2003–2005) BLUNT, Roy MO
109th (2005–2007) BLUNT, Roy MO
110th (2007–2009) BLUNT, Roy MO
111th (2009–2011) CANTOR, Eric VA
112th (2011–2013) MCCARTHY, Kevin CA
113th (2013–2015) MCCARTHY, Kevin 7 CA
113th (2013–2015) SCALISE, Steve 8 LA
114th (2015–2017) SCALISE, Steve LA


1Died in office, April 1, 1932.

2Elected Republican Whip on April 8, 1932, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Republican Whip Albert Vestal.

3Died in office, May 13, 1943.

4Elected Republican Whip on June 2, 1943.

5Resigned from the House of Representatives on March 17, 1989, to serve as Secretary of Defense in the presidential administration of George H. W. Bush of Texas.

6Elected Republican Whip on March 22, 1989, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Republican Whip Richard Cheney.

7Elected Majority Leader on June 19, 2014, and assumed office on July 31, 2014, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

8Elected Republican Whip on June 19, 2014, and assumed office on July 31, 2014, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy.