America’s collective sigh of disgust was interrupted during the House vote on the debt ceiling bill (it passed 269-161) last night when Congresswoman Gabby Giffords made her first appearance back in Congress since being shot through the head in January. It is excellent to see Giffords waving to the chamber’s wild applause as she casts her vote, but we cannot help feeling ashamed on behalf of Congress/everybody. The nice lady who had a bullet fired into her brain by a lunatic felt so bad for Washington and its latest boondoggle that she interrupted her recovery process to fly back to work just so she could vote for a deeply flawed, high-stakes debt ceiling bill everybody hates in order to solve what was a completely made-up crisis. Maybe America could try a bill to save some wetlands next time or something?
Giffords released a statement noting that she felt it was imperative she come for the vote, saying, “I have closely followed the debate over our debt ceiling and have been deeply disappointed at what’s going on in Washington.” Seriously, we are very sorry, Gabby Giffords.
From the WaPo:
When she arrived, Giffords met briefly with House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) outside the chamber. Then the doors on the Democratic side opened to wild applause at something the rest of the House couldn’t see.
“I did something that was not too congressional,” said Rep. James E. Clyburn (S.C.), the No. 3 Democrat. “I stood up in the seat to see what it was about.”
Word spread. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) called it “the best experience I’ve had in Congress.”
Giffords walked a few yards through the crowd to a voting machine and punched the button. Heads turned toward the back wall, where a green “Y” appeared next to her name.
It read like an existential declaration. Giffords: Yes.