Gabrielle Giffords Resigns from Congress

Gabrielle Giffords Resigns from Congress, Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., resigned from Congress this morning, a little more than a year after being shot in the head at close range.

“This past year my colleagues and staff have worked to make sure my constituents were represented in Congress,” Giffords wrote in her letter of resignation. “But If I can’t return, my district deserves to elect a U.S. Representative who can give 100 percent to the job now.”

Giffords slowly made her way to the House floor, walking with a slight limp as she was surrounded by the House Democratic leadership team, including close friend Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. The room was silent as a small group of journalists captured the moment.

“Every day, I am working hard,” Giffords wrote as she concluded her letter. “I will recover and will return, and we will work together again, for Arizona and for all Americans.”

The moment carried great emotion as a number of House leaders paid tribute to Giffords.

Members shed tears on the House floor, and Giffords hugged her chief of staff, Pia Carusone, who has led constituent services since the congresswoman’s injury.

Giffords’ appearance on the floor was just the third since her injury. She returned Aug. 2 to vote in favor of the debt limit and attended President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

“I love Gabby Giffords,” Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said. “Gabby’s beauty is in the heart, in the soul, in the spirit. The House of Representatives of America has been made proud by this extraordinary daughter of this House, who served so well during her tenure here, who felt so deeply about her constituents and cared so much for her country. Gabby, we love you. We have missed you.”

Giffords looked on as Hoyer paid tribute and responded, “and I miss you.”

“We focus on her, she is our friend,” Pelosi, of California said. “We look at her remarkable recovery with great pride. She also carries in her need for recovery, the sorrow of so many others who lost their lives.

“The apparent physical recovery that we see is something even more than we could ever imagine for the challenge that congresswoman Giffords has faced. God gave her a very special mission. He gave it to Gabby Giffords because he knew she could carry that burden because he had blessed her with so many, many gifts and a very loving family to make her the person that she is.”
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