WASHINGTON (WJZ) — An emotional return.  Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is back in Houston Tuesday after her surprise visit to Congress.

Mary Bubala reports Giffords cast her first vote since she was shot in the head, and one Maryland lawmaker had a front row seat.

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It was an electrifying moment of unity on the floor of Congress after a partisan battle over raising the debt ceiling.  Political adversaries gave Giffords a standing ovation on her return to the House just six months after an attempted assassination in January.

“It was one of the most emotional moments of my life,” said Congressman Elijah Cummings.

Cummings was just two feet from Giffords when she made her triumphant return.

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“To see somebody who had been shot in the head, it was almost like somebody had come to life who had died.  It literally brought tears to my eyes,” he said.

Doctors say Giffords still has a long way to go.  She needed help through the halls of Congress, but they say the trip to Washington will give her a big emotional victory.

“Being able to come back to Congress and vote is really a huge thing for her and will only add to her recovery,” said Dr. Michael de Georgia.

Fundraisers are already underway for next year’s re-election campaign but Giffords has not yet committed to another run for her Congressional seat.

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Jared Loughner is charged with shooting Giffords and killing six people.  A judge ruled he is incompetent to stand trial at this time.