After weeks and weeks of toil, doomsday scenarios and failed bills, the compromise agreed to this weekend between legislative Democrats and Republicans and the White House has finally passed the lower chamber of Congress by a simple majority. It goes on to the Senate tomorrow, where it is also expected to pass. The occasion was marked by a moving return to the House floor: that of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who had been absent since the tragic shooting that almost claimed her life in Tucson.
Despite being interrupted by protesters earlier today, Speaker of the House John Boehner announced the passing of the bill by a vote of 269-161 today amid a standing ovation given to Rep. Giffords, whose return was mostly kept secret until moments before she arrived on the floor and voted Yea on the bill. It is her first vote since the shooting, and the first time since many of her colleagues have seen her in person since the tragedy. She was greeted by several members of Congress, including her party leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, officially and stayed to shake hands and wave hello to her colleagues as she voted. Rep. Giffords also tweeted shortly before entering the chamber, “The #Capitol looks beautiful and I am honored to be at work tonight.”
Watch the tally– and Rep. Giffords’ entrance and vote in the chamber– via C-SPAN below:
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