House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer said it was “premature” for Rep. David Wu to resign his seat amid revelations that the Oregon Democrat acted erratically with staff in the lead-up to the November elections.
“Discussion of resignation is premature,” the Maryland Democrat told reporters Tuesday. “My understanding is he has said he’s seeking mental health services, and that’s the appropriate step for him to take.”
Hoyer’s comments were the first from a Congressional leader since Wu admitted last week to having behaved unprofessionally toward his staff; Wu acknowledged that he e-mailed odd pictures of himself including one in which he is wearing a tiger costume.
Six staffers resigned as the result of Wu’s behavior, according to accounts first published in the Oregonian newspaper. The Eugene Register-Guard, which is not in Wu’s 1st district, called on him to step down last week, but Wu has said he will remain in office while he undergoes mental health treatment.
Hoyer noted that he has not talked to Wu recently but said he has dispatched his deputy chief of staff “to make sure that he gets help.”
“Beyond that I don’t have any information, but I personally believe that talks of resignation are not appropriate at this point in time,” Hoyer said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.