Today, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) returned to the Capitol following his recent diagnosis of multiple myeloma, a treatable form of blood cancer. Leader Scalise spoke with reporters about his treatments moving forward, as well as House Republicans’ plans to rein in reckless government spending, and continue investigations into the corruption of President Biden and his family.
Clickhereor the image above to view Leader Scalise's full remarks.
On Leader Scalise’s health:
“A few weeks ago I got diagnosed with cancer. As you can see, my protocol is going to be a little different for the next few months because cancer – one of the many things that does – is it affects your immune system. [I] am probably about three weeks into a treatment on chemotherapy, so we're making sure that I'm working with my doctor, as my doctor surely signed off on me coming back today. She was very encouraged about where we are, but obviously I've just got to stay focused on my health. I've been in touch with my staff for the last few weeks. A lot going on here. Needless to say – you know – we're working with our team. I had a call yesterday with all the committee chairs.
“As the Majority Leader, we've still worked on a lot of other things: [The] schedule on the Floor, working with the Chairmen, making sure that things are moving that need to be moving, but at the same time [I] just wanted to let you know – in terms of my health – I'm just going to stay focused on that. It's going well. We have a great team. We're focused on the treatments. They're going to continue to evaluate me. So you know, in the first few weeks, it's kind of a few months[long] process. They don't know – yet – how long it's going to be. Four months, Six months, but they want to continue to evaluate and say, ‘Okay, how's he doing? How's the treatment?’ The treatments are going well so far.
“I thank everybody for the prayers, because the prayers are giving me strength and my colleagues have been giving me incredible strength and, every step of the way, we just want to continue to focus on the job and focus on my health and not always in that order.”
On Leader Scalise’s treatment plan:
“Yeah, obviously there's a lot going on. There always is but, you know, the main focus is on my health. And so when I was in the hospital, one of the first things they did was diagnose me for myeloma. It was, unfortunately, a quick diagnosis. And my wife and I were very clear that we wanted to be aggressive with it. Fortunately, there have been advances made. There's medicines that I can take. It's not all inpatient. So you can do a lot of outpatient treatment with the chemotherapy. So clearly, it's not like you have to go into the hospital for hours at a time. For some of it, you can be doing it here at the office. So that's going to be something I gauge with my doctors. Ultimately, we're going to be in constant communication to make sure that I've taken the treatments I need to be taking to focus on [my] health while I'm also doing my job.
“You know, a lot of what you do by phone, a lot of it you do more in-person. The more they let me do in-person, the more I'm going to do and – you know – this is going to be like I said: A work in progress today. Today was the first day where they said, ‘We're comfortable with you going back,’ and I think – you know – they're going to continue to gauge to make sure I follow my protocols. And we, you know, we see [a] positive response from the chemotherapy treatments that I’ve been taking.”
On Leader Scalise’s diagnosis:
“Well, I'm getting treatment right now. So I'm in the process of getting treatments while I'm here. Again, some of it I can do remotely, some of it I can do here. If you want to go back to where it started, it was probably like I said, about three weeks ago. I was on the road. During August recess, you are on the road a lot, and it was really my wife who noticed. [M]y appetite was dropping, I was doing a bunch of political events, and – you know – [I would] eat a lunch and wasn't even hungry for dinner. [I] was just kind of not feeling myself and she's on the phone with me and she's saying, ‘Steve, this just doesn't sound right. When you come home, we're getting some – we are getting some tests run.’
“And so I landed on a Friday. We went straight to the doctor. They ran some blood work and right away, they said, ‘You got to get to the hospital that night’. And I went to the hospital that night and by the next day, they had an early idea. And then they wanted to do some core samples to verify, but within days they had a formal diagnosis of myeloma.
“She was very stern. She knew she could tell me better than me and you know, sometimes you don't listen to your body. If I can encourage people – number one – I mean I do my normal blood work and you know, [I] encourage people to get their annual checkups, and luckily I had gotten some bloodwork in December and they had run that bloodwork. [I]t was clean so we don't know exactly when the cancer started, but it was probably somewhere from January to August, but she surely saw the signs and my system was just not reacting the way it should. So she took good steps to get me to take care of myself, even when I maybe wasn't going to take as good care of myself as I should.”
On appropriations bills:
“A lot of conversations, you know, and those conversations have been going on. Some through the August recess. You saw today they've continued to go on for the last few weeks, and we're still working to try to get [the Department of Defense] appropriations bill moved. That bill is still out there. Obviously, you know, the votes aren't there for everything right now, but we're still having discussions to see if we can get some of the additional appropriations bills passed, but we just got to keep having conversations. I mean, we're still a few weeks away.”
On the upcoming government funding deadline:
“Well, you can tell that there's a big divide between the House and the Senate and the White House. I mean, our biggest issue is we want to get control over spending. We want to get control over the border. You've heard a lot of concern[s] about how the border needs to play a role in this, too. We've got to get secure of America's border. We got to get the economy back on track. A lot of the appropriations bills we've moved through the [House Committee on Appropriations] have had a lot of riders to try to get the economy moving again, to open things up again, on energy production, on so many other different areas. And we're just very far apart from where the White House and the Senate are, and I don't see any real interest from the White House on trying to improve where the economy is. I mean, they're still bragging about ‘Bidenomics,’ even though the economy continues to struggle.”
On the impeachment inquiry into President Biden:
“We've been talking about bringing [an] impeachment inquiry for months because if you look at some of the whistleblowers, for example, we have had a lot of whistleblowers come forward [and] bring powerful testimony. We've identified millions – over 20 million dollars – in shell corporations, illegal payments, things that I don't think anybody would have seen if we wouldn't have had the [House Oversight and Accountability Committee], the [House Judiciary Committee], and the [House Ways and Means Committee] being so aggressive at trying to get the information out. But they've started to hit a wall, and [an] impeachment inquiry is the next step to get additional information from the White House, because the White House has been stonewalling some of that information. But it's incredibly devastating already. Some of the information that has come out on the millions and millions of dollars in shell corporations – in some cases, from foreign countries – that have gone to the Biden family and I think everybody in America ought to want to know more about this. And the impeachment Inquiry gives us the opportunity to go and find more of the facts. We're going to continue to find the facts wherever they lead.”