House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Wednesday that the Congressional Baseball Game will still take place Thursday evening, despite House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four other people experiencing injuries at the hands of a gunman during a team practice.
“The Congressional Baseball Game is going on tomorrow, as well it should,” Speaker Ryan said, according to Arizona Republican Rep. Martha McSally. She said the news was greeted by a standing ovation on the House floor.
“Now, knowing Steve Scalise as we all do, he is likely really frustrated that he will not be able to play in the baseball game,” Speaker Ryan added. I also know that Steve wants all of us to commend the bravery of those who came to the aid of the wounded.”
California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell added, “We will play for charity, but also for the victims and the heroic officers who took down the shooter.”
Since 1909, Republican and Democratic representatives have come together for a friendly baseball game to raise money for several charities, including The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and The Washington Literary Center. This year’s game is intended to honor victims of the terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, England.
The gunman, James Hodgkinson, open fired Wednesday morning during a practice. Along with Scalise, at least one congressional aide, a lobbyist and two police officers were also injured.
Soon after the incident, President Donald Trump announced that Hodgkinson had died and applauded the Capitol Police for their heroic efforts.
“Many lives would have been lost if not for the heroic actions of the two Capitol Police officers who took down the gunman, despite sustaining gunshot wounds,” Trump said. He added that Scalise is “badly injured” but will “fully recover”.
At last year’s game the Republicans beat the Democrats 8-7, ending their eight-year losing streak.
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