Rep. Gabby Giffords to Resign from Congress

Rep. Gabby Giffords to Resign from Congress

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) will resign from Congress this week after attending tomorrow’s State of the Union address.

Rep. Giffords was shot in the head in an assassination attempt a year ago on January 8, 2011.   Her survival and recovery to date are considered close to miraculous, and hope was high that she would resume serving her Tucson, AZ district.    However, in a video posted on her website and an accompanying press release, she explains that she is doing what is best for Arizona as she continues her recovery.  At the same time, she said that she will return.

“I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week. … I will return and we will work together for Arizona and this country,” she said.

Giffords is married to former astronaut Mark Kelly and is a strong supporter of NASA and particularly the human spaceflight program.  She chaired the House Science and Technology Committee’s Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee in the 111th Congress and officially is the ranking member of that subcommittee now, athough other Members have served in an acting capacity in her absence.

Kelly made his final spaceflight last spring, commanding the last mission of space shuttle Endeavour while his wife was beginning rehabilitation in a Houston hospital.  He retired from NASA and the Navy last fall.   There is some speculation that he may succeed her.  The governor of Arizona will set a date for a primary and general election to choose someone to complete her term.



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