Rep. Steve Scalise Says House Dems Refused to Let Him Testify at Gun Violence Hearing
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana told Fox News that Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee didn’t want to hear what he had to say about his personal experience with gun violence or his view on their new gun-control initiatives.
Scalise said he learned over the weekend that Democrats has decided not to invite him to the hearing, “Preventing Gun Violence: A Call to Action.”
Not only is it traditionally a courtesy to extend an invitation to any lawmaker who wishes to speak but the Congressman had more than theory that he was ready to share. Scalice, the victim of gun violence by a crazed Bernie Sanders supporter in 2017 in Washington D.C., couldn’t have been a better speaker choice.
Despite his experience and perspective after a gunman shot and injured him in June 2017, committee Democrats did not want their colleague sitting before the cameras. To do so would have damaged their narrative of the need for more stringent new gun control laws.
“I thought it outrageous that they want to try to silence this message because in the end, I’m still going to get my message out. They can’t silence this issue,” he said.
Scalise said the committee’s decision surprised him because when Republicans were in charge, if Democrats selected a sitter member of Congress to speak, “we always gave them the courtesy of testifying in a proper setting.”
A spokesman for the House Judiciary Democrats blamed House Republicans for not requesting that Scalise be assigned to the witness panel. Scalise’s office rejected that explanation saying it is standard practice to have an extra panel member for experts or those who have personal experience on a topic.
Republican ranking member Doug Collins of Georgia had a heated back and forth with Democrat Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York in which Nadler claimed rejecting Scalise as a witness was not because the Committee didn’t want to hear what he had to say.
“He wasn’t denied because he disagrees,” Nadler later told reporters. “Majority members, we decided we needed to have a hard and fast rule today, or we’d be here all day with members.”
Nadler was still stinging from Collin pushback during the committee hearing. During the meeting Collins said, “The uniqueness of Mr. Scalise’s testimony being denied this voice is tragic for all who attend and all who have been a part of that, especially from his perspective as a lawmaker who will be voting on and working with this issue, and just because he probably disagrees with the majority is no reason to keep him out.”
In written testimony, Scalise said he could not support the gun control restrictions being considered but rather called for a more intense focus on stopping criminals instead.
Scalise argued that the measure being considered – H.R.8 – would do nothing to prevent a mass shooting nor would it have stopped the gunman who shot him. Instead, said Scalise, Democrats gun-control proposals would “turn law-abiding citizens into criminals” while doing nothing to reduce gun violence.
As Representative Scalise told Fox News, the decision by Democrats to shut him out was not a good start for House Democrats as they tackled hot-button issues. He said, “If they start to run it like a kangaroo court, it’s going to really hurt their credibility and ultimately show that they’re not about getting facts out, they’re just trying to promote a leftist agenda.”
They do not welcome Scalise because he speaks from personal experience that does not further Democrats narrative. When the Congressman appeared on “The View” he surprised Whoopi Goldberg his view on the 2nd Amendment had not changed after his shooting.
The Louisiana Congressman said he had been asked that many times since the incident but his views hadn’t changed because they are “rooted in the nation’s founding principles.”
The ladies of “The View” could not deter Scalise from his long-held convictions. Most important, he told them, was his belief the founding fathers gave us the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights because they believed “every American has the right to defend themselves.”
Scalise told Goldberg, “If somebody goes and uses a gun to commit a crime they’ve broken a series of laws to get there and so let’s enforce the laws better.”
Perhaps Chairman Nadler and his fellow Democrats didn’t want to hear Scalise because they already knew what he had to say.