Amid praise and tears Giffords resigns from Congress

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- It was an emotional morning on the Congressional floor Wednesday.

After 5 years of serving Congressional District 8 in Southern Arizona and one year after being shot in the head, Representative Gabrielle Giffords turned in her resignation.

 

The morning began with her colleagues praising her and with Congresswoman Gabby Giffords standing strong on the House floor one last time as her friends began showing emotion.

Following the ceremony Giffords' Husband Mark Kelly said they realized over the last month that Giffords isn't recovered enough to run for re-election.  And although she vows to return to public service, it doesn't necessarily mean a return to Congress.

"She doesn't know what her future holds.  Her mom, sister and dad often remind me Gabby was more or less born a public servant.  Even at a young age wanted to help people.  And she still does," said Mark Kelly in a telephone interview.  "So Gabby doesn't know exactly what her future looks like.  When she's ready, on her own schedule, she'll come back and serve the people of Arizona."

After staying composed throughout the touching tributes Giffords herself began to choke up as she made her way to the speaker's seat and hands her letter of resignation to a tearful Representative John Boehner.

She waved goodbye to congress to a standing ovation and a room full of inspired peers.

Mark Kelly says he and gabby hope voters here will elect a hard working moderate with similar values as gabby to fill her seat.

There's no time line on her recovery right now but he says eventually rehab will go from a full-time to part-time job and they will spend most of their time in Tucson.

Congress passed Giffords' last bill Wednesday, creating tougher penalties for drug smugglers who try to fly narcotics over the border.