Updated Jan 5, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Scalise to work remotely until February as he recovers from cancer treatment

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) will not return to the Capitol when the House reconvenes next week but will instead work remotely until February as he recovers from cancer treatment, his office said Friday.

Driving the news: Scalise is undergoing an autologous stem cell transplant after he had a “positive response" to induction chemotherapy, per his office.

  • "Once the procedure is completed, he will be recovering under the supervision of his medical team and will work remotely until returning to Washington next month."

The backdrop: Scalise was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, last August. He said in a statement at the time the disease was detected early and is “very treatable.”

  • He has continued to serve as House majority leader and mounted an unsuccessful bid to become House speaker following Kevin McCarthy’s removal in October.
  • The transplant marks a “a significant milestone in his battle against cancer,” the statement on Friday said.

Between the lines: Scalise's absence puts House Republicans down another vote as they face a razor-thin margin for error and looming deadlines to keep the government funded.

  • With Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) slated to leave Congress later this month, Republicans are poised to have just 219 seats to Democrats' 213.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional context.

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