Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to resign from Congress

TUCSON, Ariz. -  U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has announced she will step down from her seat in Congress this week and Monday will be her last day in Tucson as a member of Congress, according to her office.

Giffords explained her decision in a two-minute video posted on her Facebook page at noon on Sunday.

Watch the video below

She said she had more work to do in her recovery after she was shot in the head a year ago while meeting constituents outside a Tucson supermarket during a Congress On Your Corner event.

On Monday, her office said Giffords will finish her Jan. 8, 2011 Congress On Your Corner event that was tragically ended when a gunman opened fire, killing six people and wounding 13 others including Giffords. Giffords was shot in the left side of the brain, the part that controls speech and communication.

In a private gathering Monday, Giffords will meet with some of the people who were at the event including victims and some of the citizen heroes who aided injured people and some of those who held the gunman.

Jared Lee Loughner, 23, has pleaded not guilty to 49 charges in the shooting.

In the video, Giffords says she doesn't remember much from "that horrible day" and said, "thank you for your prayers and for giving me time to recover."

She goes on to say she has more work to do on her recovery so to do what is best for Arizona she will step down this week.

"I'm getting better. Every day my spirit is high," Giffords said. "I will return and we will work together for Arizona and this great country."

A Giffords spokesperson said while in Tucson, Giffords will also visit the Gabrielle Giffords Family Assistance Center at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. The center, which opened on Sept. 23, was established after people donated more than $215,000 in Giffords' honor after the shooting.

The visit to the center Monday will be her final act in her district as a member of Congress.

A Giffords spokesman said the Democratic congresswoman will submit her letter of resignation later this week to House Speaker John Boehner and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. Brewer will then set a date for a special primary and general election to determine Giffords' replacement.

Giffords will attend Tuesday night's State of the Union speech in Washington, D.C., Communications Director Mark Kimble said in a news release.

Giffords was first elected to the House of Representatives in November 2006.

 

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