Hoyer Statement on Departure of Rep. Giffords from Congress

For Immediate Release:

January 22, 2012

Contact:

Katie Grant, 202-225-3130

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after Congresswoman Gabby Giffords announced that she will resign from Congress: 

“Throughout my years in Congress, there have been few Members I have come to admire as much as Gabby Giffords.  When she was first elected, Gabby got right to work for the people of Arizona’s Eighth District, standing up for veterans, advocating for a fairer wage for workers, and pushing for comprehensive immigration reform while securing our borders.  She earned the respect of colleagues on both sides of the aisle for her determination and strong convictions, and her willingness to work together to get things done.  Gabby always put her constituents first and made it her priority to listen to their concerns and carry them back with her to Washington.

“When she was shot and wounded last January doing exactly that, on a day that brought a tragic loss of life, our nation came together to pray for Gabby’s recovery and show support for her loving husband Mark Kelly and their family. We were all reminded of the importance of civility in politics and our responsibility to strive for a higher tone of discourse. Since that day, Gabby has been working hard to regain her strength and relearn many skills, and we have all borne witness to the remarkable progress she has made so far. 

“Anyone who knows Gabby and how tough she is cannot be surprised by what she has achieved in so short a time.  That is why, like so many of her colleagues who were looking forward to seeing her return to work in Washington, fighting for her constituents, I was saddened to learn of Gabby’s decision to resign from Congress and not seek reelection. However, I was not surprised. Gabby has shown the courage to put her constituents first and the judgment to ensure that her state and district are fully represented. This decision by Gabby confirms and adds to the respect and love that those who know her have for her. Gabby has opted to focus her energies on getting well and getting stronger, and I believe that Congresswoman Gifford has years of public service yet to give to her state and country.

“I have had the opportunity to visit with Gabby and Mark, and I’ve seen firsthand how fortunate Gabby is to have someone as loving and supportive as Mark by her side. I join in thanking Gabby for her important work in Congress, and I continue to wish her and her family well.  I also join in saluting her outstanding and hard-working staff for making sure the people of the Eighth District continued to have advocates in Congress while Gabby has been on leave.”

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