House Democrats decided to sustain pressure on Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) but not to pursue punitive measures at a closed meeting today.
Some Democrats had previously suggested rebuking Weiner by stripping him of his committee assignments or barring him from the Democratic caucus, but neither of those ideas were discussed at the meeting. Instead they have adopted a wait-and-see approach in which Democrats continue to send a strong message to him that he should resign, Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) said.
With the scandal over Weiner's disclosure about inappropriate online relationships dominating headlines, Democrats have expressed frustration that they cannot focus on their legislative agenda. Weiner has been granted a two week leave of absence to seek treatment, although he did not disclose what he is seeking treatment for.
Weiner's New York delegation has banded together in calling for his resignation. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) said before the party meeting that, Hopefully, we are hearing he might resign in a couple of days. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a mentor whose opinion could prove decisive, has so far not called for Weiner to step down.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-NY) called for an ethics investigation immediately after Weiner admitted to sending lewd photos of himself to women online and engaging in flirtatious conversations. Weiner has maintained that he never broke the law, but recent developments in which he was found to have been corresponding with a 17-year-old and took naked photos of himself in a gym located in the House building have further tarnished his reputation and amplified calls for his exit.
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