In YouTube video to her supporters, Arizonan announces she will officially leave Congress this week.
Giffords: “I have more work to do on my recovery so to do what is best for Arizona I will step down this week. I’m getting better. Every day, my spirit is high. I will return and we will work together for Arizona and this great country.”
President Obama reacts: “We know it is with the best interests of her constituents in mind that Gabby has made the tough decision to step down from Congress.”
AP: Resignation decision sets up Arizona race.
Watch the video above and read the President’s Statement below.
Statement by the President on Resignation of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords
Gabby Giffords embodies the very best of what public service should be. She’s universally admired for qualities that transcend party or ideology – a dedication to fairness, a willingness to listen to different ideas, and a tireless commitment to the work of perfecting our union. That’s why the people of Arizona chose Gabby – to speak and fight and stand up for them. That’s what brought her to a supermarket in Tucson last year – so she could carry their hopes and concerns to Washington. And we know it is with the best interests of her constituents in mind that Gabby has made the tough decision to step down from Congress.
Over the last year, Gabby and her husband Mark have taught us the true meaning of hope in the face of despair, determination in the face of incredible odds, and now – even after she’s come so far – Gabby shows us what it means to be selfless as well.
Gabby’s cheerful presence will be missed in Washington. But she will remain an inspiration to all whose lives she touched – myself included. And I’m confident that we haven’t seen the last of this extraordinary American.