Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returns to the House floor

In hands-down the only uplifting moment during last night’s debt ceiling vote, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returned to the House floor for the first time since she was shot earlier this year.

Giffords had been following the debt ceiling debate from her home in Arizona and, although her “yes” vote wasn’t ultimately needed to pass the bill, she said in a statement, “I strongly believe that crossing the aisle for the good of the American people is more important than party politics. I had to be here for this vote. I could not take the chance that my absence could crash our economy.”

We’ve followed Giffords’ incredible recovery here at Feministing and are so happy to see her back in action.

Transcript after the jump.

Applause as Giffords enters.

Boehner: The ayes are 269. They nays are 161. The bill is passed without objection. A motion to reconsider is laid on the table. The gentlelady from California, Ms. Pelosi, is recognized.

Pelosi: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I too want to join our colleagues in recognizing the contribution of the pages to the conduct of the House of Representatives. They have born witness to many historical occasions here. But I can’t think of any that is more special, and means so much to our country, than the return of our colleague, who is the personification of courage, of sincerity, of admiration throughout the country. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

More applause.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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