Gabrielle Giffords made a surprise return to Washington, D.C. today. After a tweet on Twitter that said Gabriele Giffords returns to Washington to support bipartisan legislation, the Congresswoman walked on to the floor of the House for the first time in over seven months.
In the middle of the final House vote on a bitterly battled debate to raise the ceiling, the Congresswoman entered the chamber to a round of spontaneous applause that lasted for over five minutes. With that, she cast her vote and added her support for the bill which passed with 269 votes in support and 161 opposed.
Gabby Giffords’ return to Washington was probably one of the most difficult one in the history of the House. While many have endured tough reelection campaigns and some have even had to cope with set backs in their health, none have taken a bullet to the head in the line of duty and none have had to enter a recovery and rehabilitation regimen as difficult as hers. Back in January, while holding a constituent service in her home district of Arizona, the Congresswoman was shot by a madman whose rampage killed several and wounded dozens.
As if the final vote on the contentious debt ceiling bill needed any more drama added to it, the return of Giffords to work on the House floor added an almost surreal, made-for-TV-like flavor to it all. But it also offered us al a dose of reality in the alternate reality that is often D.C. politics. Giffords exhibited the type of strength and stamina that proves to us nothing is impossible and that with the right determination and passion, all odds can beaten and goals can be achieved. That goes too for controlling spending and balancing our federal budget.
No matter what though, Gabrielle Giffords helped end an otherwise ugly and negative process on an positive high note. We should all join in a hearty congratulations to the Congresswoman and her family as well as to thank her for what is an exemplary commitment to public service and dedication to participation in the democratic.
Speaker of the House John Boehner issued the following statement regarding the shooting of three term Congresswoman Gabbrielle Giffords (D-AZ);
“I am horrified by the senseless attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and members of her staff. An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society. Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, all who were injured, and their families. This is a sad day for our country.”
In a tragedy that is still unfolding, Democrat Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head by what would seem to be a lone gunman who fired anywhere from 12 to 15 shots, hitting at least 11 other individuals including members of the Congresswoman’s staff. Early reports indicate that there were four fatalities at the scene, possibly, including a child.
Congresswoman Gifford was outside of Safeway Market where she was holding a Congress On Your Corner event that is meant to allow the Congresswoman to communicate with and assist her constituents.
It is as of yet unknown what was behind this assassination rampage but the gunman was apparently wrested to the ground by bystanders and taken in to custody at the scene.
God bless the Congresswoman, her family, staff and constituents and let us continue to pray for all the other victims.
Early reports indicated that the Congresswoman died but a hospital spokeswoman reportedly confirmed that she is in critical condition and undergoing surgery.
The shooting marks the end of the first week of the 112th Congress in a way that will have chilling effects for a long time to come. First reactions from Speaker John Boehner is that this was a senseless tragedy and he adds that an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.