Statements on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' announcement Sunday that she plans to resign from Congress this week to focus on her recovery:
"Gabby Giffords embodies the very best of what public service should be. She's universally admired for qualities that transcend party or ideology — a dedication to fairness, a willingness to listen to different ideas, and a tireless commitment to the work of perfecting our union. That's why the people of Arizona chose Gabby — to speak and fight and stand up for them. That's what brought her to a supermarket in Tucson last year — so she could carry their hopes and concerns to Washington. And we know it is with the best interests of her constituents in mind that Gabby has made the tough decision to step down from Congress.
"Over the last year, Gabby and her husband Mark have taught us the true meaning of hope in the face of despair, determination in the face of incredible odds, and now — even after she's come so far — Gabby shows us what it means to be selfless as well.
"Gabby's cheerful presence will be missed in Washington. But she will remain an inspiration to all whose lives she touched — myself included. And I'm confident that we haven't seen the last of this extraordinary American. — President Barack Obama
"I spoke with Gabby's husband Mark today and told him that the most important thing is Gabby's recovery. We fully support their decision. I know that Gabby will continue to make significant contributions to her state and country, and I stand with her in whatever endeavor she decides to pursue. Jill and I wish Gabby and Mark all the best as they embark on the next phase of recovery." — Vice President Joe Biden.
"Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has been a noble public servant to the State of Arizona, and a model of what can be accomplished with persistence and determination. Her remarkable recovery over the last year is an inspiration to us all.
"As with all Americans, I will continue to hold Gabby in my thoughts and prayers as she continues on this path toward recovery.
"Upon the Congresswoman's office being officially declared vacant, I will call a special Primary and General Election in order to fill the 8th Congressional District vacancy, in accordance with Arizona law. The winner will complete the remainder of Congresswoman Giffords' term, which expires at the end of 2012." — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer
"For the past year, Gabby has shown the world the person I have always known — an extraordinary woman of fierce drive, determination and courage. Gabby made the right decision for her and her family, but this is just the beginning of the next chapter of her story. I know that Gabby will find other ways to fulfill her calling of public service and continue to lead and inspire the nation.
"I feel blessed to call Gabby Giffords a dear friend and look forward to supporting her in whatever she decides to do next." — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
"We understand but are deeply saddened by the news that Rep. Giffords has decided to resign her seat in Congress because of the demands of her continued rehabilitation from the gunshot wound she suffered a year ago in Tucson.
"Congress and the American people now have lost the service of another devoted public servant because of gun violence. It is sadly reminiscent of the nation's loss of Jim Brady as Presidential press secretary due to a similar gunshot injury 30 years ago.
"We hope Rep. Giffords' departure is only temporary and wish her well on her amazing and inspiring recovery." — Dennis Henigan, acting president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
"From the day she was first elected to the Arizona State Senate, to her three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, Gabby Giffords has been a great advocate for our state.
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