Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the No. 3 House Republican, made a triumphant return to the House of Representatives on Thursday for the first time since surviving an assassination attempt in June.
It was an emotional scene.
Scalise’s colleagues greeted him with an extended standing ovation as he entered and walked to a podium with the aid of forearm crutches. After asking House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., for permission to “speak out of order,” Scalise spoke about the outpouring of support he received after his ordeal.
“While some people might focus on a tragic event and an evil act, to me, all I remember are the thousands of acts of kindness and love and warmth that came out of this and kept me going through all of it,” he said.
Scalise was one of four people shot when a gunman opened fire on a Republican congressional baseball practice. The congressman was in critical condition after he suffered a bullet wound to the hip and had to undergo several surgeries before being released from the hospital in July.
“I’m definitely a living example that miracles really do happen,” Scalise said.
Thursday, Scalise thanked Capitol Police officers Crystal Griner and David Bailey, who took down the shooter. Griner and Bailey were part of the security detail assigned to Scalise since he’s part of the House leadership, and he characterized them as “part of our family.”
“If anybody ever wondered why we’re assigned a security detail, I surely found out that day,” Scalise said.
Addressing Bailey, who was in the House gallery, Scalise told him, “You are my hero, you saved my life,” as members applauded.
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