House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., will be honored with the ceremonial first puck drop next Thursday at the annual Congressional Hockey Challenge in Arlington, Va., the winter equivalent to Congress' summertime baseball game.
Five congressmen, assisted by more than a dozen House, Senate, and executive office aides, will take on a group of Washington lobbyists at the annual game in Arlington, Va.
Scalise said Thursday he has been tapped to drop the puck at the beginning of the 10th annual game. Scalise was shot and seriously injured during a practice for the Congressional Baseball Game last June. He spent three months recovering before he returned to work.
"Being able to participate in a congressional sporting event takes on new meaning for me now, and I’m honored to be able to drop the puck for this year’s Congressional Hockey Challenge," the Louisiana lawmaker said. "This game is a great opportunity for both sides of the aisle to put aside their differences and join the same team, but most importantly, it raises money for several worthy charities."
Reps. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., Tom Emmer, R-Minn., and John Katko, R-N.Y., will join Reps. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., and Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., to take on employees from K Street NW, the Beltway's lobbying corridor.
Casey Fitzpatrick, legislative counsel for Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Calif., will lead the congressional group.
Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Ind., who was onboard the Amtrak train that crashed during his trip to the GOP retreat in West Virginia in January will serve as team doctor in case of any injuries.
The opposing team of lobbyists is comprised of players from UPS, Coca-Cola, JetBlue, Holland & Knight, the American Gaming Association, Google, Tyson Foods, and others.
The team will also include Matt Mika, the former congressional staffer who was shot in the same incident as Scalise.
Last year's event raised $120,000, and this year's will benefit the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, and the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program.
The lobbyists will be looking for a win after losing last year.
The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. next Thursday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, where Washington's NFL team, the Capitals, practice.