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Weiner may lose committee slot


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House Democratic leaders could begin the process of taking away Rep. Anthony Weiner’s committee assignments today as part of a final push to force him from office, even as a minor backlash against calls for his resignation has emerged from one corner of the caucus.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her leadership team plan to meet at noon Thursday to confer about plans to increase pressure on the scandal-scarred New York Democrat to give up his seat. Democratic sources familiar with earlier discussions say they may choose to call for a caucus vote on the matter next week.

“That is under active consideration,” said a source familiar with those discussions.

In addition, party leaders who have not yet called for Weiner’s ouster may be pressured to join that chorus.

The renewed effort comes even as some of Weiner’s closest friends in the House are criticizing Democratic colleagues for piling on.

Those tensions spilled out in a private Democratic Caucus meeting Tuesday when New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell laid out his views on the right and wrong ways to handle allegations of wrongdoing by a member of the caucus. He said he understands the need for certain Democrats — party leaders and those whose reelections could be affected by the scandal — to call on Weiner to resign, but then, by implication, scolded Pennsylvania Rep. Allyson Schwartz for jumping ahead of leadership last week when she told POLITICO that Weiner should step down and followed up with a round of national television interviews.

“He was upset that some of the members of our caucus, prior to the leadership acting, had acted in their own right,” said a senior Democratic aide who attended the meeting, which had dwindled to between 10 and 15 lawmakers by the time the fireworks launched. An emotional exchange among Pascrell, Pelosi, Schwartz and a handful of other lawmakers ensued.

The private airing of Weiner-related grievances underscores the difficulty House Democrats are having with a story that just won’t go away — one that forces them to consider the human frailties of their colleague, their own personal standards, how and when to pass judgment on a peer and, once again, the tension between the political needs of the party and the needs of one of its members.

"He's a sleaze, but he's our sleaze!" :rolleyes:
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