Gabrielle Giffords Makes Dramatic Return To Vote on Debt Bill

Walks Onto Floor of Capitol to Cheers From Both Parties

By Forward Staff

Published August 01, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) made a dramatic return to Congress Monday to vote on the debt bill, just seven months after she was nearly killed in an assassination attempt.

Giffords, who was shot in the head in January, looked steady as she returned to an explosion of applause on the floor of the House of Representatives.

She waved and said, “Thank you,” as colleagues from both parties cheered.

Giffords was flanked by her astronaut husband, Mark Kelly, and her closest friend in Congress Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) to building applause from both sides of the aisle, a rare moment of unity during the recent fractious budget debates.

“The Capitol looks beautiful and I am honored to be at work tonight,” Giffords said in a Tweet.

It was her first Tweet sent in the first-person since she was shot during a constituents meeting at a Tucson strip mall.

Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), like Wasserman Schultz, a close Jewish friend and a fundraiser for Giffords, rushed over to hug her.

“This is a day for the history books,” said Wasserman Schultz in a statement. “We saved our country from going into default and my beloved friend and ever-optimistic colleague Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returned to the floor to cast her vote in favor of the future of our nation.”

“She smiled at me and said I love you, and it doesn’t get better than that,” Democratic whip Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) told Politico.com.

Giffords is the first Jewish women elected to statewide office in Arizona.

With Giffords’ support, the deal to raise the national debt ceiling passed the Republican-controlled House. It passed the Senate Tuesday and President Barack Obama signed it into law.

Giffords almost died when she was shot on Jan. 8. Six other people, including one of her aides and a federal judge, were killed and 12 others were wounded in the attack.

The man accused of carrying out the attack, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, has been diagnosed as schizophrenic and been ruled incompetent to stand trial.






Find us on Facebook!
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.