Over three months after an attempted assassination on a baseball field, Rep. Steve Scalise made a triumphant return to a jubilant House of Representatives this morning. Moving to the podium on crutches as a result of his wounds, Scalise entered to a roaring standing ovation, as bipartisan as it was joyous. This clip from ABC News shows Scalise making his way to the dais, navigating past the embraces of his colleagues and clearly moved by his reception:
— ABC News (@ABC) September 28, 2017
Speaker Paul Ryan introduced him by declaring, “Our prayers have been answered,” and then recognized Scalise “for as much time as he may consume”:
Scalise attributed his recovery and return to the prayers of the nation on his behalf. “I’m definitely a living example that miracles really do happen,” he said in his speech. During his recovery, Scalise “prayed for very specific things,” adding that “pretty much every one of those things was answered.” He also pointed out the first responders in the audience, whom he credited for his survival:
Rep. Scalise thanked David Bailey and Crystal Griner, two US Capitol Police special agents, for saving his life during a June shooting.
Both of the agents were also injured.
In July, Trump invited them to the White House, where they received the Medal of Valor.
“These officers saved the lives of every innocent person on the field that day. Many of them friends of Mike and myself,” Trump said at the time. “They are American heroes and we salute them.”
Scalise also saluted the bipartisan support he received during his crisis and recovery, not just from Congress but around the world. Scalise urged his colleagues to use this moment to reflect on the hopes and fears around the world, and the key role that representative democracy in the US plays in addressing those:
“It really does show the warm side of Congress that very few people get to see, you don’t know how much it meant to me and when I come back into this chamber today, just seeing your faces, it means more than you can imagine,” said Scalise. …
He also said he was moved by the outpouring of support from the international community, saying world leaders “cared about my well-being, but more than that, they saw this as an attack on all of us.”
Scalise told the chamber that “As we’re fighting through the issues of the day, let’s just keep in mind that we rise above the challenges of the day and understand it’s not just us or our constituents,” adding, “it’s the people all around the world that believe in freedom that are counting on us.”
ABC News reports that Scalise will return to work, but not a full schedule. He’ll remain on the floor for votes today, but he still has a lot of rehab to undergo before he fully recovers. Clearly, though, Scalise’s delight in his return will play a major and positive role in advancing his recovery — and maybe provide some rehab to the nation as well.
Here’s the event in full. Bring your Kleenex. Paul Ryan concurs on that advice, by the way.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 28, 2017