Weiner Decision Hits Capitol

Posted June 16, 2011 at 11:14am

Rep. Anthony Weiner might not announce his expected resignation until 2 p.m., but news of the New York Democrat’s decision shook the Capitol on Thursday before he even took to the cameras.

Weiner is expected to announce in a press conference from his Brooklyn-based district that he will quit Congress after three weeks of relentless coverage of his sexting scandal.

Speaker John Boehner said Thursday he had not spoken with Weiner or been notified of his intention to resign. Still, the Ohio Republican called the entire episode “a distraction.”

“The American people have been asking, ‘Where are the jobs?'” Boehner said at a press conference.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) later called it “an unfortunate situation.”

The New York Times first reported Thursday morning that Weiner was calling friends and telling them he would step down.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi repeatedly refused to discuss the matter at her previously scheduled press conference Thursday. She said she would issue a statement following Weiner’s formal announcement.

“Let’s see what he decides to do today, and then we will go from there,” the California Democrat said. “But I’m not going to make any announcements for him or about him at this time.”

Pelosi would not say whether she thought a preliminary investigation by the Ethics Committee should continue, and she tried to shift the focus of her press conference to the topic of jobs.

Weiner called Pelosi and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) on Wednesday night while they were at the White House Congressional picnic to inform them he had decided to step down.

Weiner has faced growing pressure from party leaders to resign since he admitted to having inappropriate communications via social networking sites with at least six women. The seven-term lawmaker represents a reliably Democratic district. Once Weiner resigns, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will be charged with scheduling a special election to fill the vacancy.