Play ball! GOP, Dems to battle as 1: Team Scalise

Lawmakers gathered at Nationals Park to play their annual charity baseball game - a relatively low-profile event that was thrust into headlines Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at a Republican team practice.

Scalise, of Louisiana, underwent surgery Wednesday night to fix a broken hip and another procedure to stem heavy bleeding. The congressman underwent another surgery Saturday, and the hospital said he was more responsive and speaking with family.

Republicans and Democrats fight for bragging rights Thursday in the annual Congressional Baseball game as one unit - Team Scalise. Scalise was reported to have been tended to by Rep. Brad Wenstrup of OH, a US Army Reserve doctor who served in Iraq, before his treatment at the hospital. Interest in the charity baseball game has skyrocketed in the aftermath of the shooting, as staffers and lawmakers look to rally around Scalise and the three others who were shot: a congressional staffer, a lobbyist and a Capitol Police special agent.

It emerged Hodgkinson had a social media page filled with criticism of Republicans and the Trump administration.

"I hope he's in good enough shape to watch, because he'll certainly feel good about what he sees", Flake said.

"I appreciate the spirit and the camaraderie, but it's hard to get my arms around what happened", Larson said.

Colleagues said Scalise, who had been fielding balls at second base, dragged himself away from the infield, leaving a trail of blood before they rushed to his assistance. He also remains in critical condition Thursday following surgery. "The Scalise family greatly appreciates the outpouring of thoughts and prayers", the hospital wrote, "on behalf of the Scalise family".

"The Congressional Baseball Game has never been about Republicans against Democrats", said Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-C.A., in an opinion piece he wrote for CNN. The U.S. Capitol Police officer, who jumped into the line of fire Wednesday to save our elected representatives, walked onto the field in crutches.


He said he talked with Republican team manager Joe Barton of Texas after the shooting and they agreed that that "we shouldn't let incidents like this or people like this change our routine or how we live our lives".

The game, held at Nationals Park. has been a congressional tradition for more than a century.

"Speaker (Paul) Ryan did himself credit when he said 'an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us, '" Larson said.

Authorities say they are examining a cell phone, a computer and a camera found inside a white van where the gunman who wounded a top Republican congressman and several others had been living.

The Democrats defeated the Republicans 11-2.

"In Washington we have our disagreements, but we all agree that we are here to serve this nation we love, and the people who call it home", President Trump said in a video address to the crowd.

Congressional aide Zach Barth was the fourth person hit and is also expected to make a full recovery, NPR's Vanessa Romo reports. Democrats have won seven of the last eight games, bringing the overall series to an even 39-39-1 (the teams played multiple times in some years).

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