Gabby Giffords stuns by returning to Congress for debt ceiling vote

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a gunshot wound to the head during an horrific assassination attempt earlier this year, received a standing ovation in Congress as she surprised members by showing up to vote in favor of raising the federal debt ceiling.

“Gabrielle has returned to Washington to support a bipartisan bill to prevent economic crisis,” her Twitter account announced shortly before the vote. Her Tweet instructed viewers to turn on C-SPAN to watch.

It was her first vote in Congress since the Jan. 8 attack that shocked the nation. Giffords was injured when a gunman opened fire in Tuscon at a constituent meeting she was holding.

Six people were killed and 13 people were injured. Jared Lee Loughner has been charged.

Giffords, who on Monday wore glasses and whose hair is noticeably much shorter, waved as she was applauded for several minutes.

“The #Capitol looks beautiful and I am honored to be at work tonight,” Giffords wrote on Twitter after the vote. The legislation passed 269 to 161. It now moves to the Senate.

Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi took to the floor after the vote to say that Giffords is the “personification of courage.”