Giffords Returns to Vote on Debt Ceiling

Posted August 1st, 2011 at 7:35 pm (UTC-5)
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There was some unexpected drama during the House of Representatives' vote on the debt agreement Monday.

Arizona Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords made her first appearance in the chamber since she was gravely wounded by a would-be assassin in January.

House colleagues rose to their feet and applauded as Giffords made her way across the floor, accepting handshakes and hugs. Her long brown hair has been cut short and she still has a bit of trouble walking.

The Democratic leader of the House, Nancy Pelosi, praised Giffords, saying she is privileged to call her a member of Congress and a friend.

Giffords was shot in the head during a meeting with her constituents outside a Tucson supermarket.

Six people were killed and 13 others wounded. Giffords had to have part of her skull replaced with a piece of plastic. She also underwent intense physical therapy to recover her ability to walk and speak.

The alleged gunman is in federal prison awaiting trial.