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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid