MIAMI (CBSMiami) – U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords announced on Sunday that she would leave Congress this week to focus on her recovery. After attending a rally in Ft. Lauderdale which celebrated the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Gifford’s friend and colleague, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, issued a statement saying Giffords has been an inspiration.
“Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is an incredible public servant, woman, and friend. No one can really understand what she and her family have been through over the past year,” said Wasserman Schultz in a statement. “Gabby knows that she has more work to do on her recovery, and so, being the selfless person that she is, she has decided that it is the best thing for the people of southern Arizona if she steps down. I am confident that Gabby will return to public service for the people of Arizona and the nation after focusing on her recovery.”
Giffords, who was seriously wounded in a mass shooting in January 2011, made her announcement in a video on her website.
“I have more work to do on my recovery so to do what is best for Arizona I will step down this week,” says Giffords. “I’m getting better. Every day, my spirit is high. I will return and we will work together for Arizona and this great country.”
“Gabby has had such a positive impact on our nation. Even in announcing her resignation, she reminds us that ‘we can do so much more by working together’,” said Wasserman Schultz. “We will miss Gabby’s spirit in Congress and I will miss working with my friend day-to-day, but I am confident that she will return to public service and we can all work together for America.”
Giffords’ recovery has been strong, and last August, she made it back to Washington to vote for the debt limit deal the president struck with Congress.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi praised Giffords as a “true bright star – a dynamic and creative public servant” whose message of bipartisanship and civility should be emulated.