Rep. Steve Scalise, a member of the Republican baseball team, was hospitalized Wednesday after a gunman opened fired while Republican members of Congress were practicing Wednesday in Alexandria, Virginia ahead of the annual charity baseball game.
Scalise, from Louisiana, serves as the Majority Whip in the House of Representatives. Hodgkinson allegedly shot Scalise and four others, including two Capitol Police officers, before being shot himself and taken into custody. Scalise underwent surgery and is in stable condition at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, according to a statement by his office.
The adequacy of security measures to protect members of Congress is drawing renewed scrutiny after Wednesday's shooting that wounded a top Republican lawmaker. "This is a competitive game, and we're ready to take it back".
"I'm hopeful today's events create an opportunity for all Americans to stop and think about the level of political discourse in this country", said Rep. Richard Hudson, a Republican from North Carolina who had been on his way to bible study when he heard the news.
I won't say that party doesn't matter, because party is how we define our beliefs and work towards shared goal. "We believe the best way to honor them it to play the game as scheduled tomorrow night".
Former baseball player Rep. John Tener, of Pennsylvania, first organized the game in 1909. Despite getting canceled some years - due to the Great Depression and World War II, for example - the game persisted through the decades.
The game has always been a charity event, channeling funds to the Red Cross War Service Fund in 1917 and to the Community Chest for Relief of the Unemployed in 1933.Proceeds now support The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, and the Washington Literacy Center.
What were lawmakers doing wearing baseball gear on that field?
"The only reason they were there was because we had a member of leadership on our team", Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky told MSNBC.
Thursday night's scheduled baseball game at Nationals Park was slated to be the 80th meeting of the GOP and Democratic teams. He didn't vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 but said he wants the president to succeed.
Almost every year for more than 100 years, members of Congress from both parties face off in a friendly, but competitive, baseball game.
"I've been in Congress 16 years", Flake said.
It's unclear whether Thursday's game will happen. The 1983 game was called after it was tied following the standard nine innings. The bipartisan charity event is a longstanding Washington tradition.
Wednesday's shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise, at a practice before the game, brought global attention to what's typically a date only in U.S. politicians' calendars. "Find another breakdown. Maybe East vs. West?" He left Congress to run for governor and was inducted into the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002.
"Senate versus House. Senate team gets extra at bats and unlimited time between pitches", Memoli tweeted.