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Archive for Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Giffords makes surprise appearance for debt vote

August 2, 2011

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— Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returned to the Capitol on Monday, her first appearance there since she was shot in the head in January, to cast an emotionally charged vote in favor of the debt-reduction deal.

The Arizona Democrat walked quietly into the House of Representatives chamber through a side door, and the tension that was dominating the voting on the controversial deal suddenly dissipated.

Instead of watching the votes go up on the electronic boards above, members of the House — Democrats and Republicans alike — burst into applause as Giffords, her hair cropped short and wearing glasses, stepped inside.

It was an emotional moment rarely seen in the chamber. Lawmakers surrounded her, hugged her, and watched her smile broadly and finally take a seat in the back.

Giffords’ surprise appearance was remarkable because it had happened at all.

On Jan. 8, Giffords was shot at her “Congress on Your Corner” event outside a supermarket in Tucson. Six people were killed, including a federal judge. The suspect, Jared Lee Loughner, was wrestled to the ground by people in the crowd and arrested.

Despite being wounded in the head, Giffords made a miraculous recovery. In June, she made her first public appearance since the shooting at a Houston event honoring her husband, Mark Kelly, an astronaut.

But it was uncertain when, if ever, she’d return to the Capitol, and there had been no hint she would be back Monday.

Until she suddenly appeared. At that point, the debt deal had about 200 votes, and it needed 16 more to pass.

The vote count instantly soared, finally reaching 269.

Shortly afterward, Giffords tweeted: “The Capitol looks beautiful, and I am honored to be at work tonight.”

Comments

notleft_notright 2 years, 8 months ago

It is sad what happened to her but the whole thing was a grandstand. Techmanmacho called it right. Her vote wasn't needed. This diverted attention away from the "satan sandwich" being forced upon the public.

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tomatogrower 2 years, 8 months ago

I hope the jerk that shot her was watching. He was a failure in life, failure in crime. One big failure who is going to rot in prison for the rest of his life. Can't keep a good woman down.

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Kontum1972 2 years, 8 months ago

i am glad is is doing well....

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grammaddy 2 years, 8 months ago

Powerhouse woman. You can't stop progression!!

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techmanmacho 2 years, 8 months ago

Political grandstanding at its best...

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cato_the_elder 2 years, 8 months ago

Rep. Giffords said that she didn't want to risk missing a vote on such a crucial issue, and I choose to take her at her word.

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uncleandyt 2 years, 8 months ago

It's great that Giffords is mending, but this story is exploity distraction from the news. The smiling huggy House today won't go to work tomorrow. They're gonna have recess ! They're going to raise revenues...for themselves. They'll kindly raise the debt ceiling...for everybody ! CSPAN is like a scripted reality show too often. It is possible that Rep. Giffords just happened to arrive at the moment that she did. But,

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