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VIDEO: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Returns to Capitol Hill for Debt Ceiling Vote

Nice moments have been a rarity on Capitol Hill lately. In the last few weeks, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) called Obama supporters “a threat to the gene pool,” House Republicans have been accused of “hostage-taking,” Senator John McCain (R-AZ) referred to some in his own party as “Tea Party Hobbits,” and the entire debt deal was called “a sugar-coated satan sandwich” by Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO).

But the partisan rancor was given a momentary reprieve yesterday when Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) made a surprise appearance in the House to vote on the debt ceiling bill. It was Giffords’ first appearance on the Hill since being critically injured by a gunshot wound to the head during a campaign stop in Tucson last January.. Her arrival prompted a standing ovation, and marked a happy ending to an otherwise long and difficult process. Here’s the clip:

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Hopefully, her appearance provides a bit of perspective for Washington. Giffords didn’t take her moment in the spotlight to hurl insults of her own or chide lawmakers for taking so long to reach an agreement. She instead chose a more peaceful route, tweeting “The #Capitol looks beautiful and I am honored to be at work tonight.”

With at least the first part of the debt ceiling debacle behind us, let’s hope that Giffords’ appearance inspires others to lay off of the Lord of the Rings references in favor of more civil dialogue.

Jeffrey Boxer is an intern with Campus Progress.

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