Gabrielle Giffords Urges Lawmakers to Take Pay Cuts

Recovering Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords urged her fellow lawmakers to pass her January proposal to cut lawmakers’ pay while members of both bodies work to balance the budget.

In a statement released Thursday, Gifford’s staff told members of the U.S. House of Representatives that it is her wish that they vote to cut lawmakers’ salaries by five percent.

“Congresswoman Giffords strongly feels that members of Congress must lead by example as we tighten federal spending,” Giffords’ Chief of Staff Pia Carusone said.

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The Arizona lawmaker first proposed the initiative in a January bill.

However, her efforts to promote the bill were interrupted when a gunman shot Giffords in the head at close range, critically injuring her. The gunman also shot and killed six people including one of her aides.

For the past 10 months, Giffords has been in and out of the hospital receiving surgeries and physical therapy to regain her mobility and motor skills.

On Monday, ABC News aired a recent interview with Giffords to spotlight her recovery. Giffords appeared very upbeat and anxious to communicate. The following Tuesday, Giffords released an audio recorded statement expressing her desire to return to work for her Tucson district.

“I want to get back to work,” she shared. “Representing Arizona is my honor. My staff is there to help you. They keep me informed on your behalf."

Giffords’ staff is working with a bipartisan group of 25 lawmakers to gather signatures and bring the bill to the House floor. The group includes fellow Arizona Rep. Dave Schweikert as well as Reps. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine).

Currently, the super committee is struggling to build consensus to close the $1.2 trillion deficit before the Thanksgiving Day deadline.

By comparison, Giffords’ proposal would only raise $50 million over a 10-year period.

Additionally, the pay cut would take effect in 2013.

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