Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise made a dramatic return to Congress on September 28, 2017, four months after surviving a shooting. Now he’s one of the speakers scheduled for the Republican National Convention scheduled for Monday, August 24, 2020.
Scalise has represented Louisiana’s first Congressional district since 2008 and was first elected House Majority Whip in August 2014. He also served in the Louisiana Senate and House of Representatives before moving to Washington.
Scalise is married and has two children, who live in Louisiana. Here’s what you need to know about his wife, Jennifer Scalise.
1. She & Steve Scalise Married in 2005
Today I celebrate 12 wonderful years of marriage with my best friend and mother of our 2 great kids. Happy anniversary Jennifer! pic.twitter.com/eLfMYcUKW5
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) March 20, 2017
Steve and Jennifer Scalise have been married since March 19, 2005. According to the Times Picayune, the wedding took place at the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. After the wedding, the two honeymooned in Europe. At the time of the wedding, Jennifer worked for Ses Inc., a Merriam, Kansas-based firm with “expertise in natural resources management, environmental consulting, agriculture and program development/verification,” according to its website.
Jennifer Scalise grew up in Louisiana and went to high school at Andrew Jackson Fundamental Magnet High School in Chalmette, according to the Times Picayune wedding announcement.
In March 2017, Steve and Jennifer Scalise celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary, and Scalise wrote on Twitter that his wife is his best friend. On National Spouses Day in 2015, he said that he could not do his job without his wife.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) January 26, 2015
2. Jennifer & Steve Scalise Live in Louisiana & Are Catholic
Wishing an incredible birthday to my bride and best friend, Jennifer. pic.twitter.com/GduvGtttd3
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) May 7, 2015
According to Scalise’s House of Representatives biography, he and his wife live in Jefferson, Louisiana. Steve Scalise tweeted on his wedding anniversary in 2013, “Wish I could be back home with her today.” But Jennifer does sometimes come to visit Steve in D.C.; this includes back in October 2015, when Jennifer surprised Steve in D.C. for his 50th birthday.
The face you make when your wife surprises you in DC for your 50th birthday! pic.twitter.com/asZN805hES
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) October 6, 2015
In January 2016, he posted a video of himself sledding down Capitol Hill with his wife.
One good thing about all this snow? Sledding with Jennifer down Capitol Hill yesterday! pic.twitter.com/YsLfIEaKXA
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) January 25, 2016
Steve and Jennifer Scalise are both practicing Catholics. According to Politico, Steve Scalise and his wife attend the St. Agnes Catholic Church.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) April 20, 2015
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) July 31, 2014
Steve and Jennifer Scalise also enjoy jazz. In May 2015, Scalise posted a photo of himself with his wife at the 2015 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) May 4, 2015
3. They Have a Son, Harrison Scalise, Who Is a Member of the Boy Scouts
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) June 15, 2016
Steve and Jennifer Scalise are the parents of Harrison, who is a member of the Boy Scouts. Scalise has documented Harrison’s Boy Scouts career on his Twitter account.
Harrison was a great navigator on our Cub Scout canoeing trip this weekend! pic.twitter.com/kSVLP7Bhmy
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) March 27, 2017
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) January 2, 2017
Harrison and I had a great time welcoming these Louisiana high schoolers to the Capitol! pic.twitter.com/wpLrBDJbTA
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) June 15, 2016
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) April 3, 2016
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 28, 2016
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) January 16, 2016
Scalise was once a member of the Boy Scouts himself. Jennifer Scalise was also a member of the Girl Scouts.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) March 12, 2015
Harrison celebrates his birthday on May 8, which means that his birthday occasionally lines up with Mother’s Day.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) May 8, 2016
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) May 8, 2015
4. They’re Also the Parents of Madison Scalise
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) June 5, 2016
Steve and Jennifer Scalise are also the parents of daughter Madison.
Having a great time judging the St. Catherine Crawfish Boil with Madison and Harrison! pic.twitter.com/FAXqeJ44QS
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) April 16, 2016
Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful wife and the best mom to our two great kids. Love you, Jennifer! pic.twitter.com/Ad7DOiBV2X
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) May 14, 2017
Madison’s birthday is also in March and Scalise had President Donald Trump’s help in wishing his daughter a happy birthday. In a video message posted on Twitter, Trump told Madison to have a happy birthday and that she should listen to her father because he’s a “powerful man.”
“Madison, happy birthday,” Trump said. “Just listen to this man. He’s a powerful, powerful man. We love him.”
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) March 17, 2017
5. President Trump Spoke With Jennifer Scalise After the Shooting
"Scalise is a friend, and a very good friend. He's a patriot, and he's a fighter," Pres. Trump says after Va. shooting pic.twitter.com/Sq1Yz8X4lL
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 14, 2017
James T. Hogkinson opened fire in Alexandria, Virginia on the morning of June 14, 2017 at a ball field were several Republican members of Congress were practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game. Scalise was critically injured and taken to the MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
“I found out later just how much damage was done internally. You know, I mean, my femur was shattered,” Scalise told CBS News’ 60 Minutes in his first TV interview since the shooting. “The hip and pelvis had serious damage where the bullet went through and, you know, did some damage to areas that had to be shored up with steel plates and then they did a phenomenal job of rebuilding, you know, kind of the, rebuilding Humpty Dumpty. I mean, there were, there was a lot of damage inside that had to get fixed.”
Following the shooting, Trump spoke with Jennifer Scalise over the phone.
“I spoke with Steve’s wife Jennifer and pledged to her our full support,” Trump said in a statement from the White House after the shooting. “We’re with her and with the entire Scalise family.”
This is not how she found out about the shooting, though. Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, who was there on the baseball field during the shooting, says he called Jennifer Scalise immediately so that she would not find out about what happened by watching the news.
“After medical personnel arrived, Flake retrieved Scalise’s phone and made the first call to Scalise’s wife to notify her of the shooting,” Flake said in a statement. “He did to ensure that Mrs. Scalise would not find out about the shooting through the media.”
After the shooting, Jennifer Scalise rushed to Washington to be with her husband.
Scalise's wife and two young kids on their way up from New Orleans as he remains out of surgery and is in critical condition, I'm told
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) June 14, 2017
Two days after the shooting, Scalise’s office released a statement from Jennifer Scalise, in which she thanked Capitol Police for saving lives. The statement read:
On behalf of Steve and our children, I want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for the incredible amount of prayers and warm wishes we have received since Wednesday’s events. We are especially appreciative of the strong outpouring of love and support from our neighbors, friends, from Louisiana and across the country, as well as from President Trump, Vice President Pence, and all of Steve’s colleagues who have reached out to us during this most challenging time. Most importantly, we are forever grateful for the heroism of Special Agents Crystal Griner and David Bailey, who saved the lives of everyone at the baseball field that morning, including Steve’s. Crystal and David have been family to us for years, and we ask that you continue to pray for their full recovery.