House Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn says that, although the Democratic leadership cannot force scandal-ridden Rep. Anthony Weiner to resign, the New York Democrat could be stripped of his seat on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Clyburn also said Monday on MSNBC that although voters in Weiner’s district might want him to stay on there is another constituency he must answer to — the Democratic caucus.
“There are certain things that a caucus can do,” Clyburn said on MSNBC’s “Hardball.” “Remember, every member of Congress has two sets of constituents: Getting elected from your congressional district is one thing, but you also have constituents who vote for you up here within the caucus . . . and these people have votes on your future, as well.
“And so I think that his members — or his constituents in the district — may be siding with him to the tune of the 57 percent, I heard. The fact of the matter is, he’s got a set of constituents up here that`s called the Democratic caucus,” the South Carolina Democrat said.
“So I believe that Mr. Weiner serves on a very important and exclusive committee. And so there are certain things that the caucus can do, which I would hope we would just act once and for all,” he said.
Clyburn made his comments a week after Weiner acknowledged sending suggestive messages and lewd photos of himself to women he had met online, actions he had denied during the previous 10 days. Weiner is in a rehabilitation facility in an undisclosed location.
Top congressional Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, have called on Weiner to vacate his House seat. President Barack Obama said in an NBC interview aired Tuesday that he would resign if he were in Weiner's position.
Weiner sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees a broad range of issues, from consumer protection and the telecommunications industry to public health and the environment.
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