Scalise home for holidays after tumultuous year

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - It may have be the feel-good story of the year, and for Steve Scalise, the triumphant wave continues this holiday season.

Scalise is back home, after surviving a shooting earlier this year, and helping shepherd the signature achievement of Donald trump's first year in office.

It's hard to imagine a more tumultuous year.  House majority whip, and Louisiana Congressman Scalise, critically wounded by a lone gunman on a Washington D.C. baseball field, last summer.

As he struggled to recover, hundreds prayed and gave blood, leading up to Scalise's triumphant return to Congress three months later.

"Thank God our prayers are answered," said frequent Democratic rival Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California in September.

As the year comes to an end, Scalise is given credit for shepherding through President Trump's signature first-year achievement, a $1.5 trillion tax overhaul bill signed into law Friday.

For Scalise, there's no place like Louisiana for the holidays.

"Christmas is going to be even more special this year, I'm lucky to be alive, but it was a good year," said Scalise.

It's been a year capped off with a tax reform bill which Scalise believes will boost the economy.

"Yeah... this bill is a win for middle class...we cut every single rate across the board, and for the middle class, we doubled the standard deduction," he said.

But the bill has it's detractors,  who believe it will raise the deficit, a notion Scalise rejects.

"When you look at the reports about the deficit they don't even take into account that the economy will grow," Scalise said.

Scalise also says the bill includes a measure that should help restore Louisiana's wounded coast.

"Right now the state is limited in how much money it can get from offshore drilling...we lifted the cap from $500 million to $650 million...Louisiana is estimated to get over $100 million of that money to restore our coast," said Scalise.

Scalise also insists,  a bill provision to remove the requirement that everyone purchase health insurance, should lower costs.

"How about if we let companies sell better products at lower costs? That's what's going to happen with the repeal of the individual mandate," said Scalise.

Though not a single Democrat voted for the tax reform measure, Scalise firmly believes in it's promise, as he heads into the holidays, surrounded by a grateful family.

"My kids hug me more, my 10-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son, and we spend even more quality time now," said Scalise.

Time which he appreciates now, more than ever.  In the year ahead, Scalise says he and Congress will begin working on reforming the welfare system, pledging to take away what he says, are incentives, "not to work."

On a lighter note, he predicts the Saints winning ways will continue, all the way to the Super Bowl in Minneapolis.

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