In critical condition and undergoing repeated surgery, GOP House Whip Steve Scalise faces a "much more difficult" struggle to recover from his gunshot wound than first thought, President Donald Trump says.
Despite the united motivation behind the game, especially this year, partisanship was hardly abandoned as Democrats and Republicans faced off, each side seriously itching for a win. Chants of "USA! USA!" echoed through the crowd. The shooter died after exchanging gunfire with police.
The shooter, James Hodgkinson, was a small business owner in IL who defined himself publicly by his firm support of Bernie Sanders' progressive politics - and his hatred of conservatives and President Donald Trump.
Wednesday's shooting at a congressional baseball practice marked the first high-profile test of Trump-era gun politics: Republican control of Congress and the White House has all but eliminated talk of tightening federal gun laws.
Following Wednesday's shooting, a number of legislators spoke about what the game, billed on its website as "the only annual partisan event beloved by all", means to them and why it was important for the game to go forward.
More than $1 million was raised for Congressional Sports for Charity. "We hope", he said.
Davis said Thursday morning that the Congressional Democrats held a dinner Wednesday night for all House and Senate members to attend. "To think that someone took it upon themselves to take a rifle and take potshots at a baseball game that has gone on for years and years should wake us up and make us regroup".
Pence praised their heroism, echoing many others who have said that the tragedy could have claimed countless lives had they not been there and acted swiftly. To Matt's family, anything you need, we are here for you.
Proceedings were canceled for the day in the House, and instead Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California issued their own calls for unity.
"Tonight we're all Team Scalise", Pelosi said.
Support for Scalise was everywhere. Gabby Giffords, the only other member of Congress shot in the last four decades.
The shooting has brought members Congress together in some way. Chris Murphy said. "No other industrialized country averages a mass shooting every single day". Originally, players draped a sash over their shirts identifying either as republican or democrat. Republicans and Democrats sat in different parts of the park - fans could state their party preference when buying tickets. "We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans, that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace and that we are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good".
The congressional game has been a tradition for more than a century. Unity was the theme of the spirited rivalry; Democrats won in an 11-2 blowout. After accepting it gracefully, Barton cracked, "Next year we won't be so nice".
It was a sadly familiar ritual: an American president addressing the nation at an unsettling time, decrying violence while urging citizens to set aside their differences and pray for the recovery of victims.
"The guy's down to a handgun, he dropped his rifle, they shoot him, I go over there, they put him in handcuffs", Conaway said, adding that if the shooter had "gotten inside the fence, where a bunch of guys were holed up in the dugout, it would have been like shooting fish in a barrel".