The applause for Gabrielle Giffords’ dramatic and emotional return to the House Monday following an assassination attempt in January had barely subsided when friends announced they were preparing to raise money for her reelection if she decides to run for a fourth term next year.
Giffords’ surprise appearance on the House floor to vote "yes" on the debt ceiling bill provided a too-rare moment on Capitol Hill when partisanship was set aside amidst what has seemed like endless bitter bickering .
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), Giffords’ closest friend in Congress, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program early Tuesday morning, “We’re getting her ready to make sure she can run for re-election at the point that they’re ready to decide on that,” JTA reported. (JTA initially reported that Giffords would run next year but later amended its report.)
Giffords, who was escorted into the chamber by her astronaut husband Mark Kelly and Wasserman Schultz, is "focused on her recovery" and "no decision has been made about 2012," said her staff. She is the first Jewish woman elected to Congress from Arizona.
Aides said Giffords wanted to be on hand for what her office considered the most important vote of the year.
“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 written statement, according to Politico. “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."
She will be returning to Houston to resume her recuperation.