WASHINGTON – When Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona introduced a bill last week to cut congressional pay by 5 percent, Democratic Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state quickly signed on to the effort.
Smith has had a particularly close relationship with Giffords: They’re both members of the fiscally conservative Blue Dogs Democrats, and they both have seats on the House Armed Services Committee.
“She is a dear personal friend,” said Smith, the top-ranked Democrat on the Armed Services Committee.
Smith is not the only Washingtonian with ties to Giffords, who was shot Saturday just outside of Tucson.
“I grew to know Gabby through our work on clean energy issues,” said Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee.
Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said she knows Giffords through their work on the Congressional Women’s Caucus and as a fellow member on the Armed Services Committee.
“I always found her to be a smart, generous, and committed leader,” said McMorris Rodgers, vice chair of the House Republican Conference.
Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray have worked with Giffords on abortion rights issues.
Cantwell said Giffords is bright and talented, calling her “an incredible leader” on issues involving energy, the economy and border security.
“All Americans understand that this kind of senseless violence has no place in our society,” Murray said.