Earlier this week, Congress witnessed a shocking attack on one of our own. My colleague, Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise, was shot during an early morning baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.
Also injured in the attack were congressional staffer Zach Barth and former congressional staffer Matt Mika, who were helping coach the team. Fortunately, the truly heroic acts of Special Agent David Bailey and Officer Crystal Griner, without a doubt, saved dozens of lives. Despite suffering injuries of their own, we have them to thank for preventing an already horrible attack from turning into something much worse.
When tragic events like this unfold in America, it usually, hopefully, makes us stronger. Shortly after news of the shooting broke, at their own morning practice, my Democratic colleagues joined together in prayer. On game day, both teams again joined together in prayer on second base, where Steve Scalise would have played. Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi both spoke on the House floor to call for unity. At the Congressional Baseball game, attendance numbers were shattered – with over 25,000 people showing up to show their support, not just for the Republican or Democratic team, but also for America and for each other. This year, the game raised nearly twice as much money for charities – such as DC Boys and Girls Club and the Capitol Hill Police Fund – as it did the previous year, bringing in over $1 million in total.
Members of both the Republican and Democrat baseball teams gather together for a bipartisan prayer for Rep. Steve Scalise prior to the Congressional Baseball game.
While we will often have our differences and disagreements on how policy is formed, we should remain united as one nation. As Speaker Ryan put it: “An attack against one of us is an attack against all of us.” Now is a time for a unity of purpose as one nation. I’m praying for a quick recovery for my good friend Steve Scalise and for comfort and peace of mind for his family, and for all who were injured in this horrific attack. Most of all, I am grateful for the Capitol Police officers who put their lives on the line, who ran towards the gunfire, to save the lives of others– and all those who keep us safe each day.
Sincerely, Doug LaMalfa