Yep! It sure is! Bravo! A wonderful moment for the Democratic party and for those of us who wish District eight’s congresswoman the best and a continued speedy recovery.
After watching the Tea Party freshman in the house stall the car before a moving train and after much give from our president and very little help from speaker of the house John Boehner, we witnessed an epic moment in the form of a fighter named Gabrielle Giffords who walked into the house chamber today and cast her vote to raise the debt ceiling.
The clock was running down, and the debt ceiling compromise did not yet have enough Ayes to pass. Then, slowly, applause started trickling through the House chamber. The clapping grew over the next half minute, until finally, the person who somehow managed to draw universal admiration from the frayed body came into view.
Representative Gabrielle Giffords made a surprise appearance Monday evening on the floor of the House of Representatives, the first time she has returned to Washington since she was shot earlier this year in Arizona.
With two minutes remaining on the voting clock, Ms. Giffords entered the chamber through a side door. Her arrival prompted a standing ovation that lasted throughout the remainder of the vote on the compromise to raise the debt ceiling. She was among one of the last representatives to cast her ballot, voting yes on the measure as other affirmative votes put the bill over the top.
“Gabby is voting to support the bipartisan debt-ceiling compromise,” said a post on her Facebook page. “This is a huge step in her recovery, and an example of what we all know–she is determined to get better, and to serve CD8 and our nation. This vote–expected to be very close–was simply too important for her to miss.”
Ms. Giffords waved and quickly was surrounded by her Democratic colleagues. Some Republicans crossed the aisle to see her, too, as she rose to wave again.
Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the minority leader, hailed the return of Ms. Giffords, saying: “There isn’t a name that stirs more love, more admiration, more respect, more wishing for our daughters to be like her than the name of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Thank you, Gabby.”
The dramatic arrival capped a day of anticipation on Capitol Hill. She was accompanied by her husband, the astronaut Mark E. Kelly. She left the chamber, walking slowly, but under her own power. Her Twitter account, which has featured dispatches from her staff since she was shot in the head at a Tucson political event in January, finally featured a message from its owner:
The #Capitol looks beautiful and I am honored to be at work tonight.Mon Aug 01 23:12:40 via HootSuiteGabrielle Giffords
Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the Democratic whip, said he learned of Ms. Giffords arrival about 30 minutes before she walked onto the House floor. He said that he believed she flew on a government plane to Washington.
“It was very heartening to see her,” Mr. Hoyer said. “She wanted to be with her colleagues as she was at the beginning of the year.”
Ms. Giffords smiled as she moved through a crowded hallway. She did not answer questions, but raised her hand to wave as she walked into a waiting elevator. She wore a teal shirt and thick glasses, her brown hair cropped short — a contrast from the longer hair she wore before the shooting — but her smile was remarkably similar to how she looked before the shooting seven months ago.