House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) underwent another procedure Monday that will keep him out of the Capitol for a few days, a planned effort as part of his recovery from a shooting at a congressional baseball practice in June that nearly took his life.
Scalise, 52, has had several follow-up surgeries and other procedures since being discharged from MedStar Washington Hospital Center in July, including a surgery in January. In a letter to lawmakers on his whip team, Scalise described the Monday morning visit to the hospital as a “procedure,” not a surgery.
“I’m writing to let you know I will undergo that follow-up procedure this morning. I’m blessed to have made tremendous progress in my healing, and am grateful for your continued support,” he wrote, adding: “I am eager to be back at the Capitol as soon as my doctors say I’m able.”
Scalise was the most serious of five injured during the Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., when a politically motivated gunman, 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson, opened fire. Scalise was shot in the hip, and doctors said he was on the brink of death when he arrived at MedStar. He returned to the Capitol in late September and, for several months, required a scooter to get around the Capitol.
In recent weeks, Scalise has gained enough strength that he has used crutches to get around. His health has improved enough that some Republicans have openly talked about Scalise succeeding House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), who announced last week that he will retire at the end of the year. Scalise has endorsed Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as Ryan’s successor.
Here’s the full note that Scalise sent to his colleagues:
Whip Team Colleagues,
At a Conference meeting earlier this year, I mentioned that I would have to have one more planned procedure in the spring as part of my ongoing recovery. I’m writing to let you know I will undergo that follow-up procedure this morning. I’m blessed to have made tremendous progress in my healing, and am grateful for your continued support. Rest assured that I plan to be fully engaged in my work as I recover from this surgery, and I am eager to be back at the Capitol as soon as my doctors say I’m able. Thank you for keeping me in your prayers, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me or my office if there is anything you need.