With Congressman Anthony Weiner refusing to resign his seat in the House, top Democrats decided on Saturday afternoon to go after him, as key leaders issued a series of statements calling Weiner's behavior indefensible and more. Weiner ignored those calls, saying he will now seek treatment for his sex-related internet activities.
"It is with great disappointment that I call on Representative Anthony Weiner to resign," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schulz of Florida, the Chair of the Democratic National Committee.
"The behavior he has exhibited is indefensible and Representative Weiner's continued service in Congress is untenable. 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," Wasserman Schulz added.
But a statement from Weiner's office indicated that the New York Democrat has not intentions of resigning at this point.
"Congressman Weiner departed this morning to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person,” the statement read.
"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," the written statement added.
That news was not what Democratic leaders wanted to hear, as they launched a coordinated effort on this Saturday to push Weiner from the Congress.
"Anthony's inappropriate behavior has become an insurmountable distraction to the House and our work for the American people," said Rep. Steve Israel, a fellow Democrat from New York who heads his party's campaign efforts in the Congress.
"With a heavy heart, I call on Anthony to resign," Israel said in a written statement.
As for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, she avoided the direct use of the word "resign" - but her statement made clear she wants Weiner out.
“Congressman Weiner has the love of his family, the confidence of his constituents, and the recognition that he needs help," Pelosi said in a statement.
"I urge Congressman Weiner to seek that help without the pressures of being a Member of Congress.”
A Senior Democratic Aide said this "coordinated effort" was undertaken by Democrats "once Weiner decided to seek treatment."
What kind of "treatment" was not immediately clear.
Weiner's decision seemed to insure that he won't be in the halls of Congress when the House returns to work on Monday, sparing Democrats what might have been an embarrassing situtation.
But at the same time, Weiner continues to refuse to leave office, something Democrats had hoped he would change his mind about when they launched their Saturday power play.
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