Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, critically wounded by a gunman more than a year ago in Tucson, Ariz., announced Sunday that she will resign from Congress this week to focus on her recovery.
In a video posted to YouTube, Giffords, dressed in office attire, also provides more insight into her struggles to recover from a massive brain injury. “I don’t remember much from that horrible day,” she says of the shooting rampage on Jan. 8, 2011, that killed six and wounded 14. (Watch video below.)
“Arizona is my home, always will be. 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,” Giffords says.
“Thank you for your prayers and for giving me time to recover. I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for Arizona I will step down this week,” she says. “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, a Democrat first elected in 2006, had pledged to return to work on Capitol Hill and made a memorable appearance on the House floor in August to cast a vote in support of an agreeement to raise the federal debt ceiling. But the coming House elections presented her with a choice about whether to stand for reelection or step down.
In a release, Giffords’ office said she would finish the “Congress on Your Corner” event in Tucson that was interrupted by shots from alleged gunman Jared Lee Loughner and will meet with some of the people who were at the event in private.
She also plans to attend President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Loughner was indicted on 49 federal counts. A schizophrenic, his fitness to stand trial remains at issue.