Politics

Boehner spokesman: Why hasn’t Weiner formally requested a leave of absence?

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter

House Speaker John Boehner’s spokesman blasted out a list of #Weinergate questions on Monday, ripping Rep. Anthony Weiner for not yet having filed his official request for a “leave of absence” from Congress.

“The Leaders of each representative conference/caucus sign formal requests for a leave of absence,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said. “Will Leader Pelosi sign Rep. Weiner’s formal request for a leave of absence? If Rep. Weiner fails to ask for a formal leave of absence (rather than simply saying he intends to take one via press release), then he will officially be AWOL while still being paid by taxpayers.  What will Leader Pelosi do if he fails to ask for a formal leave of absence?”

It’s unclear what medical reason Weiner plans to use for a formal leave of absence and his spokesman, Dave Arnold, has not returned The Daily Caller’s requests on that matter. “Sex addiction” is not considered a mental disease or sickness, though, according to current American Psychiatric Association (APA) standards. In 2013, the APA plans to release updated standards, at which point sex addiction may be included as a disease or sickness. But, there’s no guarantee.

According to Title II, section 39, of the U.S. Code, Weiner won’t get paid unless he’s really sick. “The Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives (upon certification by the Clerk of the House of Representatives) shall deduct from the monthly payments (or other periodic payments authorized by law) of each Member or Delegate the amount of his salary for each day that he has been absent from the House, unless such Member or Delegate assigns as the reason for such absence the sickness of himself or of some member of his family,” the law reads.

Boehner’s spokesman went further than just questioning Weiner’s pay. Steel asked if Pelosi would “move to strip” him of his Committee assignments and if she’ll “move fort a vote of the full Democratic Caucus” to do the same, adding that, “remember that Rep. Clyburn said the full Caucus should address the matter.”

“Will she actually file an ethics complaint, which would trigger a formal investigation? (Note: the letter she sent last week has all the force and effect of a Post-It note.),” Steel wrote. “Will she introduce a privileged resolution to take some formal action against Rep. Weiner? Will Rep. Weiner be welcome at Democratic Caucus meetings?”