WASHINGTON — Reps. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) were among the colleagues who wished Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) well as she leaves Congress to focus on her recovery.

Giffords, who was shot in the head a year ago while meeting with constituents in Tucson, announced Sunday that she will resign this week.

“Gabby is not only an admired colleague, but a dear friend, and I am honored to have had the pleasure to work with her in Congress,” said Matsui. “She is a smart, disciplined, and effective leader, and, as we have all witnessed over this last year, her courage and determination are unmatched.

“Through her commitment to public service and her constituents, her tremendous strength in the face of adversity, and her continual optimism, Gabby has been an inspiration for millions of Americans. I am certain that she will keep inspiring us all.

“Though Gabby will be terribly missed in the House, I know that she will not stop being a leader for the people of Arizona and for our nation. I join with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in wishing she and Mark all the best.”

Hirono stated, “Watching her video announcement to step down from Congress, I was so very touched by Gabby’s courage, spirit, and her pure love for Arizona and our nation. This is Gabby as we’ve always known her.  Her admirers and friends in Hawaii and across the country will continue to pray for her recovery.

“I hope that we will redouble our efforts to come together and work in the spirit of laulima and find common ground with our colleagues across the aisle on issues that matter most to our country. I’m sure that’s what Gabby would most like to see us do.”

Hanabusa, who was present when Giffords cast her final vote, said, “I am fortunate to have met Gabby Giffords, to have had a very candid conversation with her, and today to witness such courage and dedication to the people of Arizona that she serves. She was and is a remarkable person. The decision to resign from Congress could not have been easy; she clearly loved being here and serving her constituents. But I don’t think we’re saying goodbye to Gabby Giffords. I don’t think anything can keep her down, and she’ll be back serving Arizona and America again.”

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