News / USA

US Representative Giffords Resigns Year After Arizona Shooting

This video image provided by House Television shows Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., accompanied by Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., walks  on the floor of the House on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan.
This video image provided by House Television shows Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., accompanied by Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., walks on the floor of the House on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan.

Multimedia

Audio
Cindy Saine

Gabrielle Giffords, 41, resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday in an emotional ceremony on the House floor a little more than one year after she was shot in the head at an event for her constituents in Tucson, Arizona.  Republican and Democratic lawmakers joined to give the Democrat repeated standing ovations and tearful embraces, and unanimously passed a border security bill she co-sponsored.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Republican from Virginia, recalled the shooting rampage on January 8 last year, saying the country will never forget those who lost their lives.

"A little more than a year ago, Americans witnessed a heinous attack on Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, her staff and the citizens of Tucson," said Cantor.  "This attack took 6 innocent lives including [congressional aide] Gabe Zimmerman, injured 13 and shook all of us in the congressional community, and in fact our nation, to its core."

The shooter, Jared Loughner, is undergoing court ordered treatment for schizophrenia in a federal prison in Arizona with the goal of making him fit to stand trial.

In the House chamber, which is often the scene of intense partisan debate, lawmakers stood crying, cheering and clapping as Representative Giffords slowly made her way to the podium, holding the arm of her close friend, Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

Wasserman-Schultz wept as she read Giffords's letter of resignation, where Giffords explained she is resigning to focus on her recovery.

"From my first steps and first words after being shot, to my current physical and speech therapy, I have given all of myself to being able to walk back onto the House floor this year to represent Arizona's 8th Congressional District.  However, today, I know that now is not the time," said Wasserman-Schultz.

Giffords then handed her letter of resignation to Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, who hugged her and cried.

Before the shooting, Giffords was widely admired in the House for reaching across the aisle to work with her Republican colleagues to find common sense solutions to problems.

"Congresswoman Giffords' message of bipartisan and civility is one that all in Washington and in the nation should honor and emulate," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.  "As Gabby said in her video, which moved us all so much this weekend, 'We can do so much more by working together.'"

After the resignation ceremony, the House of Representatives, including Giffords, voted on her final piece of legislation, a bill that would impose tougher penalties on smugglers who use small, low-flying aircraft to avoid radar detection and bring drugs across the U.S. southern border with Mexico.  The measure passed by a vote of 408 to 0.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid