House Majority Whip Steve Scalise made a surprise and triumphant return Thursday to Capitol Hill, for the first time since he was badly wounded in the June mass shooting at a congressional baseball practice.
“I’m back,” he tweeted, along with a photo of him looking out across the National Mall.
Scalise met first with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and plans to address colleagues on the House floor.
“I don’t have words right now,” Ryan said after the meeting.
Scalise’s office said in a statement the congressman is “returning to work at the United States Capitol.” The congressman will also complete “an extended period of out-patient rehabilitation over the coming months,” his office said.
The Louisiana Republican has spent months in recovery, first undergoing multiple surgeries followed by extensive rehabilitation at an in-patient facility.
He and several others were shot on June 14 when gunman James Hodgkinson opened fire at a Republican congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va. The gunman was later killed by police.
Scalise sustained a single rifle wound, entering his left hip and passing through his right hip, also known as a trans-pelvic gunshot wound.
The round did substantial damage to bones, internal organs and blood vessels, according to Dr. Jack Sava, the director of trauma at MedStar Washington Hospital where Scalise had been treated after the shooting.
Scalise, a top-ranking member of GOP leadership, returned to Capitol Hill a day after his colleagues unveiled a far-reaching tax reform plan – expected to be the party’s top legislative priority, after several failed attempts at passing health care legislation.
What role Scalise will play in Republicans’ fall agenda is unclear. But he has gradually been returning to the spotlight, giving an interview with “60 Minutes” set to air Sunday.
Lobbyist Matt Mika, House GOP aide Zack Barth and Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner also were shot in the June rampage, while Capitol Police Officer David Bailey and Texas Rep. Roger Williams were injured.
The shooting fueled concerns about the adequacy of security for lawmakers traveling in large groups, as well as the broader threat of political tensions turning violent.
At the time, one witness told Fox News that the apparent gunman specifically asked whether Republicans or Democrats were on the field, before the shooting broke out.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.