WASHINGTON: Greeted by hugs, tears and a roaring standing ovation, a hobbling Majority Whip Steve Scalise returned to the House on Thursday, more than three months after a gunman sprayed fire at a baseball practice and left the lawmaker clinging to life.

“You have no idea how great this feels to be back here at work in the people’s house,” the 51-year-old Louisiana Republican said to a chamber packed with lawmakers, including senators who had crossed the Capitol to welcome him back.

Scalise limped into the chamber on crutches, wearing sneakers, smiling broadly and blowing kisses in his first public appearance since the June 14 shooting.

“Our prayers have been answered,” declared Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

The moment marked a joyfully bipartisan departure from the bitter divisions that have dominated Congress this year between two parties battling over President Donald Trump and the GOP agenda.

“It does show the warm side of Congress that very few people get to see,” Scalise said.

Trump spoke to Scalise, said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. He also tweeted, “Welcome back @SteveScalise!” and posted a video of Scalise arriving in the House chamber.

Scalise and four others were wounded when a gunman opened fire on a Republican baseball practice — GOP and Democratic lawmakers face off in a game each year — in nearby Alexandria, Va. U.S. Capitol Police and other officers returned fire and killed the gunman. The rifle-wielding attacker had nursed grievances against Trump and the GOP.

Scalise was struck in the hip; the bullet tore into blood vessels, bones and internal organs. He arrived at Medstar Washington Hospital Center at “imminent risk of death,” Dr. Jack Sava said then.

He was hospitalized for more than a month.

The officers who helped kill the shooter, Crystal Griner and David Bailey, were also injured. Griner is still recovering at home.