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Scalise Makes First Public Remarks Since Shooting

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., delivered what are believed to be his first public remarks Thursday since he was shot at a congressional baseball practice in June.

In a minute-long pre-recorded message played at the Louisiana Family Forum’s annual legislative awards gala, Scalise said he is eager to “get back home.”

“I wish I could be there in person but I’m still recovering at a rehabilitation hospital and I can tell you, I cannot wait until the day that I can get back home,” Scalise said.

Every year, the socially-conservative Louisiana Family Forum gives legislations scores based on how they vote on a variety of issues, according to The Advocate. Scalise was being honored with the “Gladiator Award.”

The Advocate reported that Scalise received a long standing ovation from the audience, which included numerous state and federal legislators.

Lauren Fine, spokesperson for Scalise, told the Washington Examiner, “Within the last couple weeks, he (Scalise) recorded a similar audio message for a Louisiana Restaurant Association event he also could not attend.”

“He wanted to ensure he was honoring his commitments back home while he is still focusing on his recovery at an in-patient rehabilitation facility,” Fine added.

Scalise is currently recovering at a rehabilitation center in Washington, D.C., where he is receiving physical therapy.

Although Scalise gave no indication of when he would return to Capitol hill or to his home in Jefferson, Louisiana, some of his Republican colleagues in the House have said it might be as early as this month, according to The Hill.

Fine told The Hill on Friday that Scalise is focused on recovering in-patient rehab center “and will be looking forward to returning to the Capitol as soon as his doctors allow.”

Those who have visited him have said he is restless while recovering in the rehab center. Thus, he has tried to stay busy by working.

Via telephone, Scalise has remained in contact with congressional leadership and individual members of Congress, as well as attended leadership and whip team meetings.

After being shot on June 14, Scalise, 51, was taken to a hospital where doctors said he was at “imminent risk of death.”

Scalise underwent multiple surgeries in the six weeks he was hospitalized.