Three months after being shot at a GOP baseball team practice, Republican Representative Steve Scalise returned to work at the Capitol on Thursday, The New York Times reports. Scalise entered the House chamber to huge applause from his colleagues, making a speech discussing his recovery from the shooting and thanking the Capitol Police officers who stepped in when shots broke out on June 14.
— ABC News (@ABC) September 29, 2017
"It shows you if you fight and persevere, you can overcome anything," he told reporters. Scalise then gave a shoutout to Officer David Bailey, who was in the chamber. "When I was laying on the ground one of the things I prayed for was that David and Crystal [Griner] would be successful in carrying out their duties. When I was laying there not long after the first shots were fired, I could hear a different-caliber weapon. And that told me that they had immediately engaged the shooter."
The Times reports that Scalise spent the summer in an inpatient rehab center and although he's back at work, he will seek outpatient therapy to fully recover from his injuries. Scalise suffered from a bullet in his left hip and is believed to have survived the initial hit thanks to Republican Brad Wenstrup quickly applying a tourniquet to the affected area. Gunman James T. Hodgkinson ultimately died as a result of injuries from the shooting.
Scalise also referenced the political turmoil that has escalated in his absence, saying, "We are the people's House, this is the place where those ideas are debated. It is so important when we have those political battles we don't make them personal."
Well wishes for Scalise's return surfaced on Twitter, including messages from President Donald Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former Rep. and gun violence survivor Gabby Giffords.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 28, 2017
Steve Scalise’s strength and resilience inspire all of us. Good to see you back on the job, Steve.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 28, 2017
.@SteveScalise has a strength only survivors know. Welcome back to the people's House. Your courage & resilience sends a powerful message.
— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) September 28, 2017
Scalise commemorated his return with a simple post on his own Twitter account, posting, "I'm back."
I’m back. pic.twitter.com/vuqYQorM6U
— Rep. Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) September 28, 2017
Good luck to Rep. Scalise as he continues his recovery!