Giffords casts first vote since Jan. 8 shooting - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Giffords casts first vote since Jan. 8 shooting

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was on the floor of Congress on Monday to cast her first vote since being shot Jan. 8.

She was on hand to vote in favor of legislation that would increase the debt ceiling.

Giffords was spotted in the middle of the House floor as the vote was going on. It was the first vote she has cast since she was shot and critically wounded on Jan. 8 while meeting with her constituents in Tucson.

"I have closely followed the debate over our debt ceiling and have been deeply disappointed at what's going on in Washington" Giffords said in a statement.

"After weeks of failed debate in Washington, I was pleased to see a solution to this crisis emerge. 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."

In an email, Giffords spokesman C.J. Karamargin said: "The vote taking place today is the single most important vote taken this year by the House of Representatives. The congresswoman insisted on participating.

A 3:50 p.m. Facebook post before the vote said:

"Gabrielle has returned to Washington to support bipartisan bill to prevent economic crisis."

Another later post said:

"Gabby is voting to support the bipartisan debt-ceiling compromise. This is a huge step in her recovery, and an example of what we all know--she is determined to get better, and to serve CD8 and our nation. This vote--expected to be very close--was simply too important for her to miss."

Without legislation in place by the end of Tuesday, the Treasury would run out of cash needed to pay all its bills. Administration officials say a default would ensue that would severely damage the economy.

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