Weiner requests leave as resignation calls mount


(JTA) — U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner has requested a leave of absence from Congress in order to receive psychological treatment amid further calls for his resignation.

Weiner (D-N.Y.) announced June 11 that he would enter a treatment center to deal with his addiction to having online relationships with women. 

“Congressman Weiner departed this morning to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person,” said his spokeswoman, Risa Heller, according to The New York Times. “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.”

Heller added that Weiner is carefully considering the calls for his resignation.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on June 11 called for Weiner’s resignation, hours before he announced that he would request a leave of absence.

“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.”

Calls for Weiner’s resignation followed shortly from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz (D-Fla.), chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

"It is with great disappointment that I call on Representative Anthony Weiner to resign,” Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. “The behavior he has exhibited is indefensible and Representative Weiner’s continued service in Congress is untenable."

A leave of absence is generally granted without a vote and is considered a formality, according to the online news site The Hill.

The news that police in Delaware are investigating Twitter messages that Weiner sent to a 17-year-old female became public on June 10.

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