02/08/2011 08:37 BST | Updated 01/10/2011 10:12 BST

Gabrielle Giffords, Shot US Congresswoman, Returns To House For Vote On Debt

Gabrielle Giffords, the American congresswoman who was shot in the head at close range earlier this year, returned to the House of Representatives for the first time since the attack to vote for a crucial bill on government debt.

Giffords was shot in the head on January 11 during a meeting with her constituents at a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona. Twelve other people were injured and six were killed in the attack. Giffords underwent surgery to have part of her skull replaced in May. She was released from hospital on June 15.

Met with a standing ovation and applause when she made her appearance on the floor of the house on Monday (see above, 3 minutes and 18 seconds), Giffords voted for the bill.

In a Facebook update Giffords said last night: "The #Capitol looks beautiful and I am honored to be at work tonight".

In a statement she added: "I have closely followed the debate over our debt ceiling and have been deeply disappointed at what's going on in Washington. I had to be here for this vote. I could not take the chance that my absence could crash our economy."

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that Giffords was "the personification of courage".