Grimm, seen here sprinting to the final votes before recess began, so far has not faced the wrath of his House colleagues. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Michael G. Grimm had, by most accounts, a pretty bad day. But none of the newly-indicted New York Republican’s House colleagues — Republican or Democrat — are calling for his resignation just yet.
The news seemed to dominate the Capitol as lawmakers returned from a two-week recess, but some of them weren’t even aware of the charges as they arrived for votes Monday evening.
CQ Roll Call talked with more than two-dozen lawmakers Monday evening. Responses ranged from ”I feel for him” (Dennis A. Ross, R-Fla.) to ”[T]his is America. And you’re innocent until proven guilty, and that’s true of all United States citizens.” (Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas)
Even liberal Democrats like Jerrold Nadler of New York wouldn’t say Grimm should resign. “You don’t want to set a precedent that elected officials should step down [because] you’re innocent until proven guilty,” he said. Energy and Commerce Ranking Democrat Henry A. Waxman of California called resignation a personal call: “That’s up to him.”
A formal response from GOP leaders is expected to come at their weekly press conference Tuesday morning. CQ Roll Call asked Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., if Grimm should resign. His answer was simply, “I have not met with him yet.”
House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., told CQ Roll Call that “members should be held to the highest ethical standards,” but that she was still gathering information.
Other’s had a sharper take.
“What can you say? It speaks for itself, right? The guy’s in legal trouble, he’s innocent until the process finds otherwise but obviously if you’re running for re-election it’s a bad place to be,” said Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., who is attempting to oust Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu this fall.
Cassidy, who wouldn’t say whether he felt Grimm ought to resign or decline to seek a third term in office, worked closely with the New Yorker on shepherding an overhaul of the National Flood Insurance Program through the chamber earlier this year.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.