This morning, at 12:18pm ET, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered an emotional address on the House floor, at times showing a strained voice as he encouraged his colleagues to move beyond the partisan rancor in a surreal moment for all of them.
“My colleagues, there are very strong emotions in this house today.
“We are all horrified by this dreadful attack on our friends and colleagues and those who serve and protect this capitol. We are all praying for those who were attacked and their families. Steve Scalise, Zachary Barth, Matt Mika, Special Agent David Bailey, Special Agent Crystal Griner… We are all giving our thoughts to those being treated for their injuries at this moment, and we are united. We are united in our shock, we are united in our anguish, and an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.
“I know we want to give our thanks to the first responders, and the Alexandria Police Department, who were on the scene in minutes. And I know this house wants to say unequivocally, that we are as ever awed by the tremendous bravery of the Capitol police.
“I spoke with Special Agent Bailey, and Special Agent Griner this morning. One of them was being treated, and the other one was about to go into surgery. I expressed our profound gratitude to them. It is clear to me, based on various eyewitness accounts, that without these two heroes, agent Bailey and agent Reiner, many lives would have been lost.
“I know that we all want to learn as much as we can about what happened. We all just received everything from the Sergeant-at-Arms. I have complete confidence in the investigation that is being conducted by the Capitol police, and the FBI, who are also working with local law enforcement.
“I know we want to extend our gratitude for the outpouring of support we have received from throughout the capital and throughout the country. And now, knowing Steve Scalise as we all do, he is likely to be really frustrated that he’s not going to be able to play in the baseball game. I also know that Steve wants us all to commend the bravery of those who came to the aid of the wounded.
“In the coming days, we will hear their stories. We will have a chance to hold up their heroism. My colleagues, there are so many memories of this day that we will want to forget. And there are so many images that we will not want to see again. But there is one image in particular that this house should keep. And that is a photo I saw this morning of our Democratic colleagues gathered in prayer this morning, after hearing the news.
“You know, every time we come here to test and challenge each other, we feel so deeply about the things that we fight for, and the things we believe in, that at times our emotions clearly get the best of us. We are all imperfect. But we do not shed our humanity when we enter this chamber. For all the noise and all the fury, we are one family. These were our brothers and sisters in the line of fire. These were our brothers and sisters who ran into danger and saved countless lives. So, before this house returns to its business let’s just slow down and reflect. To think about how we are all being tested right now. Because, we are being tested right now.
“I ask each of you to join me to resolve to come together, to lift each other up, and to show the country and the world that we are one house, the People’s house, united in our humanity. It is that humanity which will win the day, and it always will. It always will.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) followed Speaker Ryan’s remarks with some of her own, acknowledging the “distinguished Speaker,” and in a lighthearted moment said, “to my colleagues, you’re going to hear me say something you’ve never heard me say before: I identify myself with the remarks of the Speaker. They were beautiful remarks, Mr. Speaker, thank you so much for the sentiments they represent.”