House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) can finally breathe a sigh of relief after learning earlier this week that his cancer is in full remission.
The Louisiana Republican confirmed he will return to Washington next week after completing cancer treatment for Multiple Myeloma, a blood cancer that is widely regarded as very treatable among the medical community.
Scalise “successfully completed his autologous stem cell treatment and has been medically cleared to resume travel.” The Louisiana Republican is in “complete remission,” his office said in a statement.
Speaking about his diagnosis back in January, Scalise credited his doctors for catching the cancer early and his family for pushing him into immediate treatment.
“I am incredibly grateful we were able to detect this early and that this cancer is treatable. I am thankful for my excellent medical team, and with the help of God, support of my family, friends, colleagues, and constituents, I will tackle this with the same strength and energy as I have tackled past challenges,” he wrote.
Multiple myeloma is a rare blood cancer that occurs in plasma cells — the white blood cells that help fight infections by making antibodies that attack germs, according to Mayo Clinic. In multiple myeloma, these cancerous cells grow out of control, accumulating in the bone marrow and crowding out healthy blood cells.
The malignant cells produce abnormal antibodies called M proteins, which don’t work properly and can damage bones, kidneys and the body’s ability to make healthy white and red blood cells and platelets, according to the Washington Post.
The addition of Rep. Scalise could add heft to Republicans’ quest to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas who narrowly avoided an impeachment after three Republicans sided with Democrats to oppose the measure.
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) would have had enough votes to overcome opposition had Scalise been present. He has said publicly that the lower chamber will hold another vote on Mayorkas as soon as next week.
A genial presence on Capitol Hill, Rep. Scalise was briefly considered for the speakership before declining to run as Republicans searched for a permanent replacement to former Speaker Kevin McCarthy. He has risen in the ranks, chairing the ultra-conservative Republican Study Committee and later serving as House Whip for Republicans during both majority and minority cycles. In 2017, he survived being shot by a deranged liberal gunman who charged a congressional baseball game with an assault rifle.
The diagnosis hasn’t stopped Rep. Scalise from continuing to stay on message as House Republicans balk at a border deal nearly struck by the Senate earlier this week. Speaker Johnson declared the bill “dead on arrival” over a provision allowing for up to 5,000 illegal migrant crossings per day, currently half of the record-breaking daily crossings.
The Senate's so-called "border deal" accepts 5,000 illegal immigrants every single day and makes an already broken asylum system an even bigger magnet for illegal immigration.
That's why House Republicans are resoundingly rejecting it. pic.twitter.com/4UIVfQ1lFS
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 6, 2024