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Busy Parent Briefing: Gabrielle Giffords Makes a Surprise Return to Congress For Debt Ceiling Vote

By amywindsor |

Gabrielle Giffords, photo taken in May 2011.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) made an emotional return to Congress to cast her vote in favor of the bill to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, only seven months after being shot in the head by a gun-wielding man in a Tuscon market. The bill passed 269 to 161.

Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the Minority Leader, and a few other members of the Democratic Party knew of her plans to return for the vote, but kept the news private. Pelosi told reporters that she had no words when she and Giffords greeted each other, just “girl hugs.” One can imagine that Giffords’ arrival in the chamber, as she was greeted with standing applause from the members of Congress and emotional cheering from her many colleagues and friends, most of whom have not seen her since the shooting that took place January 8.

Giffords, who has objected to raising the debt limit in the past, said “I have closely followed the debate over our debt ceiling and have been deeply disappointed at what’s going on in Washington. After weeks of failed debate in Washington, I was pleased to see a solution to this crisis emerge. …I could not take the chance that my abscence could crash the economy.” She added, in her statement, that this new vote “was substantially different, with the strength of the U.S. economy hanging in the balance.

Even with the vote handily going through with or without her there, what a thrilling moment to see her return to the job after so many months away and with her life clearly in danger for much of it.  As her friend and colleague, Rep.Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said, “It always felt like there were so many doubters and skeptics, but never doubt Gabby Giffords’ determination. This is the first of many votes she’s going to pass.”

Hear, hear! And glad to have you back, Gabby.

Added 10:18pm: Watch Gabby Giffords greeting fellow representatives in Congress, the passing of the vote, and Nancy Pelosi congratulating Giffords on her courage.


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About amywindsor



Amy Windsor is an avid mommy blogger whose blog, Bitchin' Wives Club, was named one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Blogs in 2012. She was a contributor to Babble's Parenting channels.

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0 thoughts on “Busy Parent Briefing: Gabrielle Giffords Makes a Surprise Return to Congress For Debt Ceiling Vote

  1. amy says:

    This woman is one of the heroes of America. To come back after a near fatal attack on her life, takes such strength and courage. Hooray for Gabrielle Giffords. I hope she continues to forge ahead.

    1. amywindsor says:

      It really is a miracle. I am so happy for her and, I agree: she is one of America’s heroes.

  2. Brandt Hardin says:

    Congresswoman Giffords showed tremendous courage in voting today and helping rouse some semblance of unity with our government officials. We may never know why Jared Loughner opened fire in his rampage several months back, when she was taken from her duties. He’s been found unfit to stand trial so we may never get answers but I still see him holding Sarah Palin’s hand at

    1. amywindsor says:

      Yes, it was so good to see that our ever-more-divisive Congress could at come together, for this moment, around her. Great point.

  3. ChicaDificil says:

    No offense to Ms. Giffords, but why now? Her vote was certaintly not needed to pass this dreadful bill. Was her “suprise presence” orchestrated to deflect anger from both sides of the aisle? I can’t help but wonder about the political maneuverings back stage. I am happy that Ms. Giffords has recovered wonderfully and can return to her job at Congress, but no uplifting story is going to distract me from the fact that the bill she voted for is rotten.

  4. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Yes, the bill is rotten. Yes, it was wonderful to see her back at the job she was elected to do. Period.

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