House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), who survived multiple high-velocity rifle wounds at the hands of a deranged Bernie Sanders activist in June, announced his return to the beltway Thursday via Twitter.
I’m back. pic.twitter.com/vuqYQorM6U
— Rep. Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) September 28, 2017
Scalise has been absent from his leadership role in Congress since James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois, opened fire at a Republican congressional charity baseball team practice with an AR-15 rifle. Hodgkinson began his attempt at massacre only after confirming that the representatives practicing at the Alexandria, Virginia, field were in fact Republicans. Scalise lay bleeding on the field as the extended firefight that left two police officers and two congressional staffers wounded – and the gunman dead – raged around him.
It was later confirmed that, like Family Research Council-shooter Floyd Lee Corkins II, Hodgkinson was a fan of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a supremely well-funded left-wing group known primarily for assembling “hate lists” that include conservative politicians, pro-American immigration think-tanks, and traditional Christian non-profits alongside hundreds of Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups of dubious existence. The SPLC had made several posts disparaging Scalise as a closet racist and associate of David Duke.
On Sunday’s CBS 60 Minutes, Scalise and his wife Jennifer described the miraculous modern surgery that allowed the majority whip to survive his ordeal:
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 28, 2017
All corners of the congressional universe congratulated Scalise on his return to Washington. Scalise received a standing ovation as he entered the House floor:
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 28, 2017
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), with whom Scalise serves in the Republican leadership, praised Scalise as a “fighter” we knew would recover:
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) September 28, 2017
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) called Scalise’s tweet the “best news in a long time:”
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) September 28, 2017
Democrats, who were gracious enough to give the trophy for winning the baseball game in which Scalise would have played to Republicans in his honor, also celebrated his return. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted his support for #Team Scalise:
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 28, 2017
Scalise’s counterpart across the aisle, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), called Scalise a friend and welcomed him back to work:
— Steny Hoyer (@WhipHoyer) September 28, 2017
Scalise, for his part, appeared ready to jump back into the fray and get to work, making multiple tweets about the Republican leadership’s newly unveiled tax reform plan he will play a key role in promoting.