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Here’s what the minority whip does — and what it means that Katherine Clark got the job 

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A Massachusetts representative from the 5th congressional district has moved up the ranks in the U.S. House of Representatives and was recently selected to be the party’s next minority whip, making history as only the second woman to hold the position.

The representative in question is Rep. Katherine Clark, who was first elected to the House in 2013. This move is a rise in rank to second highest ranked Democrat in the House from her current position of assistant speaker, which sits at number four on the leadership chart. 

As the January swearing in of the new Congress looms, so does the official start date for her new position. But what does it really mean?

The whip is one of the top positions in both the majority and minority parties in Congress. They are responsible for keeping tabs on how members of the caucus will vote on upcoming issues, as well as being sort of a mediator between leadership and the rest of the representatives.

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