Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Leadership: Majority and Minority Whip Structures

Within the rest of the leadership structure exists each party’s Whip Organizations. While structured differently in both parties, Republicans and Democrats both have a number of whips at their disposal to assist party leadership in advancing party objectives. As the leadership’s primary goal is the passing of legislation of particular interest, it is the whips’ responsibility to maintain party order and organize votes ahead of time to insure votes be cast in accordance to party strategy. With the Speaker of the House being responsible for the strategy of passing legislation, whips gather intelligence both on and off the floor so as to assist the Speaker and Majority Leader in making decisions. This information can help leaders in decisions ranging from new appointments or repositioning representatives on committees all the way to making sure that votes on legislation will pass and the most advantageous time to schedule them.
While both Democrats and Republicans have different structures and numbers of whips within their respective whip organizations, they function very much the same. Both sides contain a chief deputy whip, a number of deputy whips, and regional whips. These varying levels and positions range from keeping tabs on committees to maintaining order/creating dissent on the floor to managing the voting of certain regions important to party stability.

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