AshLee Strong, Doug Andres
WASHINGTON—Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) participated in a U.S. Capitol Police Medal of Honor ceremony to honor those who saved the lives of the Republican baseball team, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), when a shooter opened fire on June 14. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, Chief. And thank you to all of our Capitol Police, and local law enforcement. You and your families mean so much to us. To see these officers get their due—this really is another milestone in our collective recovery.
“Even as we have tried to go back to normal, we know that we were so close to losing our friends. Seeing Steve buzzing around on his scooter makes us feel so grateful.
“I know these officers will say that they were doing just their jobs. But we would not be doing ours if we moved forward without saluting these heroes. Your bravery and God’s grace brought us together in those first difficult hours.
“There is one story from June 14th that I want to share with you quickly. That afternoon, Agent Bailey came to see me. I think it was about 4 o’ clock. He was on crutches. And his pants were torn from the bottom. We sat down in my office and talked for about 10 minutes or so. And he just calmly walked me through what happened.
“Here I was, basically jumping out of my chair, still on edge, thinking about Steve, and Crystal, and Matt Mika. And I realize now that Bailey was putting me at ease. He was reassuring me. Except for the two things I just mentioned—the crutches and the clothes—you would have had no idea that—just hours earlier—this man’s life was in danger. He was the same quiet, level-headed guy we are used to seeing every day in the Capitol.
“This medal honors actions taken to save lives in the face of danger. May it also honor the grace and selflessness these officers showed in the days and weeks after. They sought no spotlights. They never do. That quiet courage, that professionalism—yes, it is their training. Yes, it is their code. But we can all learn a lot from it. It is what united us after this attack, and it is how we have emerged a stronger family, and a stronger institution.
“Thank you for saving the lives of our friends. We will always be in your debt.”