The head of the Democratic party said Tuesday she expects Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to return to Congress for more than just the dramatic entry to the House chamber she made Monday night.
"We are confident that she is going to come back to help us full time," Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said on CBS' "The Early Show."
The Arizona lawmaker is in the midst of a an arduous recovery after she was shot in the head in January during an assassination attempt outside a Tucson grocery store where six were killed and more than a dozen others were wounded.
Wasserman Schultz said the party is helping Giffords get ready for a re-election bid if she chooses to run.
"She is remarkable. Her recovery has been miraculous," Wasserman Schultz said, though she acknowledged that her colleague and close friend "still has a long way to go" to make a full recovery.
"She still has intensive rehabilitation, physical and occupational and speech, and she's working hard. In fact she went right back to Houston, and she'll be back in all her therapies tomorrow," Wasserman Schultz said.
Her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, was seen standing outside the House floor looking in from the side entrance during the vote.
Vice President Joe Biden was on hand for the vote and told reporters he joked with Giffords that they were "both members of the cracked-head club." Biden has had two craniotomies, surgery that requires cutting the skull.
Lawmakers offered Giffords a standing ovation on the House floor when she arrived and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi later said Giffords' name inspires the love and admiration of Americans and called the lawmaker the "personification of courage."
"Thank you, Gabby," Pelosi added. Giffords, her hair short, waved and thanked members as they applauded the sentiment.