House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said his cancer treatment has been effective in attacking the ailment, letting him return to work in a crucial week for House leadership.
Mr. Scalise, Louisiana Republican, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, in late August. Upon his diagnosis, the No. 2 House Republican said he decided to pursue chemotherapy.
“The good news is the cancer has dropped dramatically because of the success of the chemotherapy attacking the cancer,” Mr. Scalise, 57, said.
“So thank God, those prayers have been answered,” he added. “We’re continuing to follow my doctor’s advice, and my doctor said you can come back to work and that’s why I’m here and we are here for a full week of work and whatever else it’s going to take.”
Mr. Scalise‘s return comes at a pivotal moment for Congress, with just three days left until the deadline to fund the government lapses and a partial government shutdown ensues.
House lawmakers are working to pass four spending bills this week after months of delay.
The splintered GOP conference has yet to reach a consensus on a stopgap spending bill to keep the government open. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has promised to bring one to the floor by Friday.
Most Republicans in the lower chamber have rallied behind the push to use the House’s marquee border bill as a bargaining chip in a stopgap spending measure, saying that a vote against it would be a vote in favor of President Biden’s southern border policy that’s opened the floodgates to illegal immigration.
But holdout lawmakers who have promised to never vote for a stopgap bill could sink that plan.
Mr. Scalise blamed Mr. Biden and the Senate for not taking up the Secure the Border Act sooner, saying the president has put the country in a volatile spot. He said if the House can pass the spending bills and a stopgap measure that includes the border bill, the Senate and White House would have to follow suit.
“I really do think if we put the skins on the wall, if we pass the bills this week to do that, the Senate will follow and the White House will have to follow because the country’s there,” Mr. Scalise said.
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