Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Returns to VotePosted: August 1, 2011
Republicans won the vote, but Democrats stole the show when Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., appeared on the House floor for the first time since a January shooting.
There was no hint of what was about to happen, when suddenly, as the debt-ceiling vote was proceeding, Giffords could be seen being escorted onto the floor by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., a close personal friend.Giffords, wearing close-cropped brown hair and glasses, walked with a slight limp and wore a glove on her right hand.
Vice President Joe Biden, with a big smile on his face, walked to the House floor and said, “I came to see Gabby, that’s why I’m here.”
In the hallway just outside, Giffords’ husband Mark Kelly was all smiles as well.
“It feels good,” he said as his wife was casting her first vote since the tragedy. “Great actually.”
Giffords spokesman C.J. Karamargin told Tucson Weekly in an email that “the congresswoman insisted on participating.”
“Congresswoman Giffords has been following this debate closely over the past two weeks,” she said. “Like the vast majority of Americans, she is extremely disappointed at Washington’s inability to confront the debt ceiling issue in a timely and thoughtful manner.”
Escorted by her husband and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., Giffords exited the House floor slowly, giving a small wave to people as she left. She left the Capitol in an SUV shortly thereafter.
When Biden was asked about what he spoke with Giffords about, he joked, “She’s now a member of the cracked head club like me.”