Politics

Scalise Back in Action After Successful Surgery

‘I’m feeling real good’

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., center, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrive for a news conference after a House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise returned to the Capitol Monday after surgery and a 12-day hospital stay to cast a “yes” vote on a stopgap spending bill that will reopen the government through Feb. 8.

“I’m feeling real good,” the Louisiana Republican said of his health after what he called a “major surgery” he had 12 days ago. “It was very successful but it took a long recovery. But I’m feeling great.”

Scalise said he still has to continue rehabilitation, which he’s been doing since June, “so I can be able to walk properly and hopefully walk without crutches.”

The rehabilitation is going well, he said, noting he is back to work full time now post surgery.

“I’m back in the game,” Scalise said.

Technically Scalise was never fully out of the game. He conducted whip calls from his hospital bed on the four-week continuing resolution that the House passed last week after much vote wrangling among the rank-and-file, many of whom were reluctant to support another stopgap measure because of its impact on the military.

“I will say I have a much higher ‘yes’ close ratio when I’m in the hospital making calls than when I’m here,” Scalise said. “So maybe I need to get a room at the hospital for big votes, and just drive over there, make calls and come back.”

Scalise said he “absolutely” intends to run for reelection, saying he loves his job.

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