Gabrielle Giffords Shows The Nation What’s Most Important
Nearly eight months ago, the nation watched and wondered if she would survive an assassination attempt in her home state of Arizona that claimed the lives of six people. Yesterday, Gabrielle Giffords sent a message to Congress as well as everyone else, regardless of political affiliation.
With the nation nearing default, it was finally time for our legislative officials to drop the partisan politics and do what was best for the country. Until the very end, it didn’t seem anything would be done and social security and many other government benefits would be cut, leaving those who depend on government funds the most high and dry.
However, as votes were cast in the House of Representatives on the new deal to raise the debt ceiling and regain control of America’s mounting debt, Giffords stepped onto the scene and cast her vote, in favor of the bill that finally came after rather ominous negotiations.
Written into the bill is an immediate increase of $400 billion dollars to the debt ceiling with an option for the President to raise it another $500 billion in the coming months, if necessary. Also, a “super committee” was created that will identify matching levels of spending cuts. If they are able to do that, the committee will have the power to raise the debt ceiling twice: first by $1.2 trillion, then by $1.5 trillion.
Giffords was among over 90 Democrats who supported the bill, many of them voting at the last minute in protest of their issues with the legislation, chief among which is the fact there are no tax increases on America’s richest.
However, with only a few minutes left to vote, Giffords took her very symbolic steps into the House and voted “Yes” on the controversial bill. The scene brought everyone to their feet for a standing ovation for the still-recovering Congresswoman from Arizona.
She later released a statement.
“I have closely followed the debate over our debt ceiling and have been deeply disappointed at what’s going on in Washington. 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.”
Vice President Joe Biden, after sharing hugs with Giffords and Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said, “There is a basic humanity here that matters.”
Unfortunately, one very brave woman had to experience a brush with death for our government officials to figure it out. Hopefully, it is a lesson they won’t soon forget.