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Gabrielle Giffords' return to Congress signals political future (VIDEO)

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' dramatic return to Congress shows she is a political force to be reckoned with.

Gabrielle Giffords' return to Congress signals political future (VIDEO)

Gabrielle Giffords' dramatic return to Congress came at a crucial time.

Amidst extreme partisan hostility on Capitol Hill, U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ return was a shining light of bipartisanship and her vote refocused lawmakers’ attitudes on the need for unity to resolve the debt ceiling crisis.

Giffords' presence in Washington, despite all she has endured in the past seven months, impressed many in Congress and across the country with her dedication to her country before herself — something many believe Republicans should have done by passing the bill for the betterment of the United States, and dealing with the partisan specifics after the country was secured.

The representative from Arizona still has much recovering to do, but has astonished Americans with her progress in motor skills and cognition.

Giffords was shot in the head at point-blank range outside a Safeway supermarket in Tucson, Arizona on January 8, 2011, when she was meeting with her constituents. She miraculously survived the gunman’s attack that took the lives of six other bystanders, including a nine-year-old girl and a federal judge. The lone gunman, Jared Loughner, shot 18 bystanders in total.

Since the shooting Giffords has undergone numerous surgeries and progressed from a prolonged state of unconsciousness to learning to speak again to being able to vote on the crucial debt issue. 

Giffords’ political career is unknown and will depend on her recovery, but the success of her appearance in Washington has her supporters looking forward to her reelection.