Rep. Gabby Giffords stepping down from Congress ‘this week’ [VIDEO]

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords announced on Sunday that she plans to resign from Congress, a little more than year after she was wounded, and nearly killed, in a shooting in Tucson, Arizona.

Giffords made her announcement in a YouTube video.


“I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for Arizona I will step down this week,” Giffords said in the video. “I’m getting better. Every day my spirit is high. I will return and we will work together for Arizona and this great country. Thank you very much.”

Giffords was shot during a “Congress on Your Corner” event in Tucson. The shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, has been indicted on 49 counts by federal grand juries in Arizona. Loughner killed six people, including U.S. District Court Judge John Roll.

Giffords was shot in the head, but survived and has made a slow but remarkable recovery. Nonetheless, she plans to step down from her seat in Congress to allow for a representative who can be more active in Washington to take the reins for her Southern Arizona. (RELATED: Likely Giffords challenger: ‘We need someone up there to fight for us’)

“Arizona is my home, always will be,” Giffords said in her YouTube video. “A lot has happened over the past year. We cannot change that. But I know on the issues we fought for we can change things for the better: Jobs, border security, veterans. We can do so much more by working together. I don’t remember much from that horrible day, but I will never forget the trust you placed in me to be your voice. Thank you for your prayers and for giving me time to recover.”

In a release from her congressional office, Giffords said that before she resigns she plans to finish the “Congress on Your Corner” event that Loughner “interrupted” with his shooting.

She said she will submit a letter of resignation to House Speaker John Boehner and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer soon. Brewer will then set a date for a special election for someone to fill out the remainder of Giffords’ term.

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Matthew Boyle