gabby-gifford_returns-to-US-house-govCongresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, absent from the U.S. Capitol since she was shot in the head 7 months ago, walked into the House chamber to hearty applause before she cast a yea vote as the dramatic debt ceiling debate came to an official close in the House of Representatives early this evening.

With her surprise appearence, the Representative from Arizona joined 94 other Democrats in passing the compromise bill, 269-166, averting a possible default on the nation’s credit. 175 Republicans also voted for the bipartisan deal, easily passing the measure, which had been crafted over the weekend.

Rep. Gifford tweeted after the vote, “The Capitol looks beautiful and I’m honored to be at work tonight.”

She was walking and talking and seemed wholly recovered among the crowds of Congressional admirers surrounding her.

In a statement released by her office, Giffords said, “I had to be here for this vote. I could not take the chance that my absence could crash our economy.”

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