After spending months recovering from a gunshot wound, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise received a standing ovation from his congressional colleagues after returning to work Thursday.
The Louisiana Republican sustained serious injuries, suffering substantial blood loss and damage to internal organs and bones after being shot in the hip at the GOP’s congressional baseball practice on June 14.
Members on both sides of the aisle applauded Scalise after he delivered a speech on the House floor, with lawmakers praising his courage and perseverance in overcoming the obstacles he faced after the attack.
GOP Rep. Barry Loudermilk of Georgia — who was at the baseball field in Alexandria, Va., the day of the shooting — said the speech was emotional for him, adding it was fantastic to see Officer David Bailey make an appearance for Scalise’s first day back.
“Seeing David Bailey, I just got to talk to him, but I was right behind David during the whole shooting. And so, we’ve talked a good bit on the phone, but this is the first time other than at the White House that I actually get to see him,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It kind of gives me a feeling of completion now. He’s back. It’s behind us, we can move forward now. It has kind of been open-ended till you see Steve back on the floor.
Loudermilk said Scalise’s absence was definitely felt and looks forward to moving past the tragedy.
“It kind of gives me a feeling of completion now. He’s back, it’s behind us, we can move forward now, he said. “It has kind of been open-ended till you see Steve back on the floor.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy echoed Loudermilk’s sentiments on the joys of his return, noting the Lousiana Republican has been looking forward to getting back to Washington for months.
“You know he went through everything with his doctors, we were seeing him all the time. He would have been back sooner if they’d allow him,” he told The DCNF. “Look how strong he looks – he’s doing great.”
House Committee on the Budget Chairman Diane Black said she hadn’t heard he was coming back until Thursday morning, telling reporters the whip has been eager to get back to serving his district.
“I talked to him about a week ago, I guess, talking about the budget and so on and his voice was just as clear and as strong as ever — you couldn’t even tell he had been sick,” she said. “He has been wanting to come back forever — there’s no keeping the good man down.”
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