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US Lawmaker Returns to Work after Shooting


28 September, 2017

This is What's Trending Today.

Steve Scalise returned to the United States Capitol building on Thursday.

Scalise, a Louisiana native, is part of the Republican Party leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Steve Scalise speaks on the House floor of the Capitol in Washington, more than three months after a baseball practice shooting left him fighting for his life.
Steve Scalise speaks on the House floor of the Capitol in Washington, more than three months after a baseball practice shooting left him fighting for his life.

On the morning of June 14, he and other lawmakers were up early and preparing for a big event: the yearly congressional baseball game. They were working out on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C.

The practice was just coming to an end when gunshots rang out. Scalise was shot in the hip. The shooter was identified as James Hodgkinson of Illinois.

Scalise was badly injured. Doctors operated on him a number of times to repair bones, blood vessels and internal organs. He missed work for over three months.

When he returned on Thursday, Scalise needed crutches to move around. But he was happy to get back to work.

Scalise said: "You have no idea how great this feels."

In a year when U.S. politicians have had trouble agreeing on many issues, House members agreed that Scalise should get a hearty welcome. They all rose to their feet and clapped loudly.

Some lawmakers walked over to Scalise and gave him a hug. Later, he said: "I'm definitely a living example that miracles do happen."

Scalise thanked the U.S. Capitol police officers who were on duty in Alexandria on the day of the shooting. Crystal Griner and David Bailey were also injured in the attack. They fired back and killed Hodgkinson.

Scalise told Bailey: "You are my hero. You saved my life. Thank you so much."

In a video, Scalise was shown walking slowly, holding crutches in both arms. He said he feels "great," but still has a lot of work to do before he returns to full health.

The congressional baseball game raises money for charitable causes. It has been played most years since 1909, with Republican members of Congress playing congressional Democrats.

The game is one way the politicians get to know each other outside of debating issues. The Democrats won the 80th congressional game the day after Scalise was shot.

And that's What's Trending Today.

I'm Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell adapted this story for VOA Learning English. His story was based on reports from the Associated Press and CNN. George Grow was the editor.

What do you think of Scalise's return from his injury? We want to know. Write to us in the Comments Section or on 51VOA.COM.

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Words in This Story

crutches – n. a long stick with a padded piece at the top that fits under a person's arm — usually plural

hearty – adj. done or expressed in a very open, cheerful, and energetic way

clap – v. to hit the palms of your hands together usually more than once - People often clap to show approval or pleasure.

miracle – n. a very amazing or unusual event, thing, or achievement

charitable – adj. done or designed to help people who are poor or sick

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