New York Democratic Rep. Eric Massa may not be ready to leave Washington, hinting in an interview he may rescind his resignation, scheduled for 5 P.M. Monday.
On his weekly radio show, Massa, one of thirty-nine Democrats who voted against last year’s health care bill, said House leadership was orchestrating a public relations campaign against him for the sake of accelerating his resignation and lowering the number of votes Democratic whips must secure for health care’s passage.
“Mine is now the deciding vote on the health care bill, and this administration and this House leadership have said, quote unquote, they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill,” Massa said. “And now they’ve gotten rid of me and it will pass. You connect the dots.”
Reports surfaced Wednesday indication Massa was retiring, citing recurrence of cancer, while others still said the freshman Democrat was under review by a House ethics panel for sexually harassing a junior male aide.
At various points in the hour-and-a-half-long broadcast, Massa indicated he would rescind his resignation if the Pelosi-Hoyer power play became national news.
“I’m not going to be a Congressman as of 5 o’clock [Monday] afternoon. The only way to stop that is for me to rescind my resignation. That’s the only way to stop it. And the only way that’s going to happen is if this becomes a national story.”
He acknowledged, however, that reneging on his promise to resign would revive a stalled ethics probe into his reported sexual misconduct with staff.
In response to a caller suggesting he remain in office, Massa said: “That’s very kind of you, but understand what that means for me. It means that a group of lawyers are going to try and rip me and my family limb from limb. And you’ve already seen it in the newspapers. It’s a piranha feeding frenzy.”