Politics

Pelosi Evokes Scalise Shooting in Opposition to Gun Silencer Bill

Majority Whip returned to the Capitol Thursday

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., walks with his wife Jennifer from the House chamber to his office in the Capitol on his first day back in Congress on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. Scales was shot during baseball practice for the Congressional Baseball Game in June. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

On the day House Majority Whip Steve Scalise returned to the Capitol, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi evoked his shooting in explaining her opposition to GOP legislation to relax restrictions on gun silencers.

“They put it under the façade that it’s for hunters,” the California Democrat said. “Hunters need armor piercing bullets? They need silencers?

“Even in the case of Steve Scalise — if you can hear, you can run,” she added.

The House is expected to consider the bill next week. Asked about the juxtaposition of that vote and Scalise’s return, Pelosi said, “I don’t know. I’d like to think it’s just a coincidence.”

Pelosi had begun her press conference describing the “wonderful, joyous occasion” of Scalise’s return. Earlier she had given a speech on the House floor thanking God for answering their prayers for his recovery noting that Democrats and Republicans alike are on Team Scalise.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, speaking in his own weekly news conference before Pelosi, spoke about the bipartisanship of the moment in remarks that ironically foreshadowed a critical response to Pelosi evoking Scalise in talking about the gun silencer bill.

Watch: Scalise's Full Remarks on House Floor Thursday

“We have a lot of anxiety and a lot of polarization in this country because people have strong political beliefs,” Ryan said. “And I think to witness the bipartisanship that occurred right then and after, I think it’s a good example to follow. … We have differences. Let’s keep them in check. Let’s treat them with respect.”

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