- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 28, 2017

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise addressed the House floor on Thursday for the first time since being shot.

“You have no idea how good this feels to be back here at work in the people’s House,” Mr. Scalise, Louisiana Republican, said.

After a lengthy hospital stay and months of rehabilitation, Mr. Scalise, walked on the floor with the assistance of a walker. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy hugged Mr. Scalise as he made his way to the podium.

Mr. Scalise was shot at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, while practicing with fellow lawmakers for the congressional baseball game in June. The gunman, James Hodgkinson, died in a shootout with law enforcement at the scene. He was a left-wing activist who supported Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent, in the Democratic primary.

In addition to thanking the U.S. Capitol Police and his physicians, Mr. Scalise also described those moments on the baseball field after he had been shot.

“When I was laying out on that ballfield, the first thing I did once I was down and I couldn’t move anymore, I just started to pray,” he said. “Pretty much every one of those prayers was answered.”

He also thanked Rep. Brad Wenstrup, Ohio Republican, for helping him on the field. Mr. Wenstrup is a physician and an Army Reserve officer who served in Iraq as a combat surgeon.

“The tourniquet he applied saved my life so that I could actually make it to the hospital in time with all the blood loss,” he said.

Mr. Scalise said his injuries were more extensive than he first realized.

“I found out later just how much damage was done internally. My femur was shattered. The hip and pelvis had serious damage where the bullet went through,” Mr. Scalise said in an earlier interview with CBS News that aired in part on Thursday.

He added that he had to have steel plates in parts of his body and that he tried doing rehabilitation seven days a week before doctors told him he needed to slow down.

“They did a phenomenal job or rebuilding Humpty Dumpty. There was a lot of damage inside that had to get fixed,” he said referring to his doctors.

President Trump said of Mr. Scalise, “He’s a special man. Brave.”

The president told NBC that he was “excited” about the return of the Louisiana lawmaker, calling him “a great guy” and “a great friend of mine.”

Mr. Scalisetweeted a photo of himself standing, looking out at the Washington Monument from the U.S. Capitol captioned, “I’m back.”

Mr. Scalise was shot at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, while practicing with fellow lawmakers for the congressional baseball game in June. The gunman, James Hodgkinson, died in a shootout with law enforcement at the scene. He was a left-wing activist who supported Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent, in the Democratic primary.

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