Courage in the Chambers
In the mist of the mess of the congressional confusion on the debt ceiling vote and delay of the government shut down, we saw a glimmer of light and hope enter the legislative floor. After seven months of rehabilitation and recovery from the near fatal shooting that landed a bullet in her head, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords came back to congress to cast her vote on the debt ceiling deal. The congresswoman who was one of twelve victims of a deranged shooter during a community event in her Tuscon, Arizona district, has beat the odds and fought back from being counted out as one who would ever serve again. While the country has watched members of congress battle over policy and program reductions and the potential for running out of money to cover bills, it has come down to the final hours for a resolution to be reached. Yet it was the entrance of Congresswoman Giffords onto the house floor that brought each member of the house to their feet in rousing cheers and applauds, forgetting if for a moment about taking sides on the default of government operations.
Minority House leader Nancy Pelosi, said it best when speaking about the beloved and well received Giffords as she called her “the personification of courage.” “Her presence here in the chamber as well as her service throughout her career in Congress, brings honor to this chamber,” Congresswoman Giffords also spoke to her position on the debt ceiling issue, “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 from her office. “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.”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/01/gabrielle-giffords-debt-ceiling-vote_n_915569.html?
Today we experienced Congresswoman Giffords laying aside her power and privilege afforded her as a member of the highest legislative body in the land, to showing poise and patience as she cast her vote. In that moment of taking a stand, the Congresswoman displayed a level of courage in the congress that most people have loss hope in seeing. It is the courage in the chambers of Congresswoman Giffords, that more political leaders need to embrace as a way of representing the people who elected them to serve.
- Gabrielle Giffords Votes Yes on Debt Ceiling Bill (UPDATED) (themoderatevoice.com)
- Gabrielle Giffords returns to Congress for crucial US debt crisis vote (guardian.co.uk)
- Gabrielle Giffords Returns To Congress To Vote On Debt Ceiling Deal (huffingtonpost.com)
- Gabrielle Giffords Returns to Congress for Debt Ceiling Vote (blogs.abcnews.com)
- Giffords returns to House for debt vote (cnn.com)