Congressional Baseball Game Will Go On After Shooting

A day after a gunman opened fire on a practice, lawmakers will play ball.

Members of Congress will hold their annual charity baseball game on Thursday night, just one day after a man opened fire on Republican lawmakers as they practiced for the event.

In a briefing to all members, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced that the game would be neither canceled nor postponed. Speaking to reporters after his announcement, Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) said lawmakers received the news with a standing ovation.

“I haven’t seen a moment like that since I’ve been here,” McSally said.

The baseball game is a tradition for lawmakers, taking place at the Washington Nationals’ stadium in Washington, D.C., to raise money for various D.C.-area charities.

On Wednesday morning, as the Republican squad prepared for the game, a man opened fire, injuring Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), at least one congressional aide, a lobbyist practicing with the lawmakers and police officers.

Virtually all events on Capitol Hill were subsequently canceled as lawmakers gathered for a debriefing.

McSally hails from the same district as former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was shot by a gunman in 2011. She said that Republicans and Democrats opened the meeting by holding hands and praying together.

The Congressional Women’s Softball Game, another annual tradition that pits members of Congress against reporters, is also expected to go on as planned next week. Organizing committee member Rachel Palermo told HuffPost that their “thoughts and prayers are with the Congressional Baseball team and staff.” She added that members of the committee will work with police, as they do every year, to ensure the game is safe.

“This morning’s events were unacceptable,” Palermo said in an email. “We will continue to work with U.S. Capitol Police and D.C. Metropolitan Police to ensure the safety of everyone involved with the game.”

This story has been updated with a comment from Rachel Palermo.

Elise Foley contributed reporting.

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