Republican New York Rep. Tom Reed resigned Tuesday from the House of Representative, more than a year after announcing that he would retire at the end of the 117th Congress.
Reed previously considered a run for governor, but announced that he would retire in March 2021 after a lobbyist accused him of sexual harassment. The congressman initially denied the allegations, but later apologized and revealed that he was battling alcoholism at the time. Reed explained that he would spend his post-congressional career “dedicat[ing] my time and attention to making amends for my past actions.”
“After almost twelve years in Congress, today is my last day. It has been an honor to serve with you all, from both parties. I love this institution, as it still exemplifies what is best about our government; we are the People’s House. While I am proud that we put people before politics, there is much more to do. I am leaving to continue that work and hope to have a greater impact on our country,” Reed said on the House floor Tuesday. (RELATED: Rep. Filemon Vela To Leave Congress Early For Law Firm Job)
“I believe that the current focus on extremism demands us to heed the words of Abraham Lincoln, uttered years ago as we faced a similar threat to our existence today: a house divided cannot stand. But I add, a house united will not fail. It is time for petty political posturing to end. Leadership must emerge, and in God I trust. His divine protection will extend again if we accept his love and the divine spark that exists in each of us as citizens of our great nation.”
“I want to thank my family, who without their love and support I am nothing. I also thank the people who worked for us, and helped so many. I am grateful. My most profound appreciation is for the people of western New York. Thank you for giving a country lawyer, the youngest of 12, raised by a single mother, whose father passed away when I was just two years old, the honor of representing you at the highest level. Only in America can such a dream come true. So I humbly bid farewell and submit my resignation as a member of the House, and I wish you all god speed,” he concluded.
Reed will be the ninth representative to leave the House before the completion of his term. Fellow New York Rep. Antonio Delgado announced May 3 that he would leave Congress to serve as the state’s lieutenant governor. Their departures will leave Democrats with 220 votes and Republicans with 208.