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!
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • 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.