Weiner taking 'short leave', despite Pelosi's call to resign

Paula Duffy's picture

Congressman Anthony Weiner announced he will seek a leave of absence to deal with his problems, but not resign.

UPDATE Saturday June 11 3:45 pm EDT: Rep. Weiner's representative read a statement about the Congressman's plans:

"Congressman Weiner departed this morning to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person,'' said the statement from his spokeswoman Risa Heller. "In light of that, he will request a short leave of absence from the House of Representatives so that he can get evaluated and map out a course of treatment to make himself well.''

Since there is no indication of how long he'll be away, his decision may or may not stem the calls for his resignation that came from his own party leaders earlier Saturday. That original story follows:

CNN reports that the minority leader in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Party chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) have all asked for his resignation.

Nancy Pelosi positioned her request as a plea for Weiner to get the help he needs, without the stress of keeping up his role as a representative of the people of New York, all the while dealing with the media frenzy around him. From her statement of today:

"Congressman Weiner has the love of his family, the confidence of his constituents, and the recognition that he needs help. I urge Congressman Weiner to seek that help without the pressures of being a Member of Congress.”

In a joint statement, Pelosi and Rep. Wasserman-Schultz made it plain that it was best for the Democratic Party as well as Congress as a whole for Anthony Weiner to give up the fight. Using strong language to describe his predicament, the dreaded "D" word was at the heart of their request: distraction.

"This sordid affair has become an unacceptable distraction for Representative Weiner, his family, his constituents and the House – and for the good of all, he should step aside and address those things that should be most important – his and his family's well-being."

In the midst of debt ceiling debates and the commencement of the 2012 election cycle, now that Republicans are announcing their candidacies, the politicians decided that the adults had to take charge. There is also that little matter of police questioning a teenager about her social media contact with Weiner. That story broke late Friday and may have been the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. That story here.

Steve Israel, the man who is responsible for getting Democrats elected to Congress next year, has a particular interest in getting the Weiner story off the front pages of Internet sites. His statement issued along with those of Pelosi and Wasserman-Schultz said in part:

"Anthony’s inappropriate behavior has become an insurmountable distraction to the House and our work for the American people. With a heavy heart, I call on Anthony to resign."

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