Rep. Steve Scalise, the third-ranking Republican in the House, returned to the chamber floor Thursday for the first time since he was shot three months ago on a baseball field in Virginia, earning an enthusiastic and emotional standing ovation from his colleagues.
Scalise tweeted out a photo looking out over the National Mall from the Capitol on Thursday, simply writing, "I'm back".
Scalise even had his voting card at the ready when he sat down with O'Donnell before casting his first vote in over three and a half months.
Pelosi said that despite political differences between her and Scalise, the two are close friends.
"The power of prayer is something you just can not underestimate", he insisted.
Religiosity notwithstanding, Scalise also thanked the two capitol police officers, Crystal Griner and David Bailey, who defended him and the others present against the shooter. He began to talk about the "outpouring of love...and prayer" he and his wife have received, from colleagues in the house, as well as world leaders, since he was shot on June 14, but said "It starts with god".
Scalise thanked the "true angels" that saved his life, including a member of his Capitol Police detail, David Bailey, who was seated in the front row of the visitors' gallery. "I really am an example that miracles do happen".
After his speech on Thursday morning, Scalise cast a vote favor of a bill that would extend tax benefits to hurricane victims.
"So many others of you, again, both Republican and Democrat, reached out in ways that I can't express the gratitude and how much it means to me", Scalise said. He sustained injuries to his internal organs and required several surgeries.
The Republican lawmaker told CBS's "60 Minutes" recently that one bullet from a high-powered rifle shattered his femur and damaged his hip and pelvis.
"I found out later just how much damage was done internally", Scalise said.
Scalise is slowly making his way back into public life after the shooting. But in July, MedStar readmitted and downgraded his condition to "serious" amid new concerns of infection. "Today, we are Team Scalise". "It really does show the warm side of Congress that very few people see", he said.
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