Wounded US Congresswoman Resigns

Posted January 25th, 2012 at 11:50 am (UTC-5)
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Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was seriously wounded in a shooting incident in her home state of Arizona last year, received an emotional farewell from Congress on Wednesday as she resigned.

In her resignation speech, read by a colleague, the 41-year-old Democratic congresswoman said she is stepping down to focus on her recovery, but vowed she will return to public service.


“I will recover and will return, and we will work together again for Arizona and all of America.”

Giffords received several standing ovations and kind words from her colleagues during the ceremony in the U.S. House of Representatives chamber.

House Minority Leader and California Democrat Nancy Pelosi called Giffords “the brightest star Congress has ever seen.” House Majority Leader and Virginia Republican Eric Cantor said Giffords' “courage, strength and downright fortitude” serves as an inspiration to all of the House of Representatives and to all Americans.”

Giffords, whose injuries has left her with slurred speech and limited movement, then climbed up to the podium to submit her letter of resignation to House Speaker John Boehner, who bid her a teary farewell.

Following the ceremony, Giffords made her last official decision as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. She voted on a bill she co-sponsored that imposes tougher sanctions on smugglers who use small, low-lying aircraft to bring drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border. The House passed the bill unanimously.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer will now set dates for a special election to fill Giffords' seat.

Giffords nearly died on January 8, 2011, when she was shot in the head outside a grocery store in Arizona where she was meeting her constituents.

In the attack, the gunman killed six other people, including a member of her staff, a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl. A dozen other people were wounded.

The man charged in the shooting, Jared Loughner, has pleaded not guilty. It has been reported that he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and he has been in jail since the crime.