U.S. House Majority Leader Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., revealed that he is currently fighting a battle against cancer. In a statement released Tuesday, it was declared that Scalise was just diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a treatable blood cancer.
“I have now begun treatment, which will continue for the next several months,” Scalise explained. “I expect to work through this period and intend to return to Washington, continuing my work as Majority Leader and serving the people of Louisiana’s First Congressional District.”
Scalise is no stranger to fighting and persevering through obstacles. In 2017, he was hospitalized after a gunman opened fire at a congressional baseball practice. As a result, Scalise was in critical condition and was not able to return to the House floor until September of that year.
In response to Scalise’s Tuesday announcement, statements of well-wishes from colleagues and constituents began to pour in for the Louisiana Republican.
Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, expressed his support and optimism for Scalise’s prognosis: “My family and I are praying for Majority Leader [Scalise] and wish him a speedy recovery. He is no stranger to fighting and winning battles of all kinds. I’m confident that he will win this one, too.”
House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., went on to say “Steve is as tough and kind as they come, and he has beaten so many unbeatable odds. The Legend from Louisiana is beloved by his colleagues and America and we know he will fight this next battle with that same resolve. We are proud to stand by to support Steve and his family as they embrace strength and faith in this next challenge.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy later released a statement saying he had spoken with Scalise and that the Majority Leader was “in good spirits”.
“Steve is a dear friend, and anyone who knows him knows he’s a faith-filled fighter who can overcome any obstacle that stands in his way. I spoke with him today and he’s in good spirits, as nothing—not a gunshot and certainly not cancer—will stop him from accomplishing what he sets his mind to,” McCarthy reassured.
Scalise has stated that he intends to resume his position as the House Majority Leader, though it is currently unknown when he is set to return to Capitol Hill. House lawmakers are due to come back from recess on September 12th.
In the meantime, Scalise will continue to receive treatment in hopes of beating his cancer battle. With the help of medical professionals, family, and friends, Scalise intends to remain as positive and determined as ever.