Republican Majority Whip Steve Scalise returned to Capitol Hill this week, and a central Illinois congressman said it was an emotional moment for him.
A gunman opened fire at a charity baseball game practice earlier this year in Virginia, critically injuring Scalise.
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, reunited with Scalise, triggering memories of what happened that day at the ballpark. Davis says interviews with reporters have given him an outlet to reflect and process what happened. He said others at the scene who are not elected officials have not had that opportunity.
"They don't have as many chances to talk about what they saw as I do. The staffers that were on the field with us, helping us practice, they're the ones I worry about because they are not able to relay their trauma like we are," said Davis.
Scalise underwent multiple surgeries, suffered from a serious infection, and attended outpatient programs for 15 weeks.
Davis said Scalise's display of courage made Thursday the greatest day he'd ever had on the House floor.
"We both hugged each other and said I love you man. And I liked his tone when he talked about how let's learn from this. Let's realize that people look to America to lead and let's tone down our rhetoric. Let's make sure we don't get to this point. He is that shining example of courage," said Davis.
Davis said Democrats in Congress came up to him after Scalise spoke to ask how he was doing, and reflected on how worried they were when they couldn't reach his cell phone during the shooting. He said he finds that bipartisan concern encouraging.
Davis said the 24-hour news cycle gives the false impression that Republicans and Democrats are constantly fighting, and cannot work together.
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