House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was undergoing surgery at a Washington hospital Wednesday morning after being shot in the hip during baseball practice with fellow congressmen.
Scalise, 51, is in stable condition, his office said in a statement.
“Prior to entering surgery, the Whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone,” the office said. “He is grateful for the brave actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues.”
Here’s what to know about the high-ranking Louisiana Republican, whom President Trump praised as “a true friend and patriot” in a tweet after the shooting:
The New Orleans-born father of two, who previously served in the Louisiana State Senate and State House of Representatives from 1996 to 2008, was re-elected to his fifth term in Congress in November.
A shooting in Alexandria, Va. injured Scalise on Wednesday.
Representing the Bayou State’s first congressional district, he sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and formerly chaired the conservative Republican Study Committee.
The congressman is a staunch champion for Second Amendment rights — boasting an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association, according to his congressional website.
In May 2015, he introduced the Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act, legislation that aimed to modify the criminal code to relax restrictions on cross-state gun sales — or, as he put it, eliminate “archaic red tape burdening gun owners who legally purchase firearms across the nation.”
“The NRA thanks Rep. Scalise for his leadership in this important effort,” the gun group said in a statement.
In the face of former President Obama’s early-2016 executive actions to tighten gun-control laws, Scalise joined fellow Republicans in Louisiana — known for its lax gun laws — in criticizing the then-commander-in-chief.
“It is insulting to the American people that President Obama is attempting to take away the constitutionally protected rights of law abiding citizens in an obvious effort to change the subject away from his failure to keep America safe from radical Islamic terrorists,” he said, according to the Times-Picayune.
Scalise was among a handful of House GOP leaders present at a June 15 conversation last year — reported last month by the Washington Post — in which House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin “pays” Trump. (McCarthy later said he’d been joking.)
Despite the apparent red flag, Scalise proceeded to endorse the candidate.
Scalise has backed many positions held by President Trump.
(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
“His message of creating jobs, rebuilding our weak economy, and restoring law and order was one that touches everybody who feels they don’t have a voice and that Washington is not working for them,” Scalise said in a statement after Trump accepted the GOP nomination.
Scalise has voted in line with Trump’s position on virtually every issue — banning use of federal funds for abortion and backing the American Health Care Act, for example. Scalise also said the President’s first travel ban, targeting seven Muslim-majority nations, made “a lot of sense.”
Ahead of the Congressional Budget Office releasing its score for the GOP’s health plan — which House Republicans passed by a razor-thin margin sans CBO score last month — Scalise said he saw “no reason” for the House to re-vote on the bill, suggesting to the Washington Examiner he was ready to “debunk” whatever the CBO score might be.
As for Trump’s much-promised Mexican border wall, Scalise was among the GOP congressmen who heard the President’s proposal to cover the wall in solar panels, applauding the POTUS for following through on a key campaign promise.
“I’m glad he’s being innovative and I’m fully supportive of helping him build the wall however we can legislatively,” Scalise told The Hill. “He is continuing to pursue every option to make sure it happens.”
- steve scalise
- congressional baseball shooting
- gun violence
- donald trump
- barack obama
- gun control
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