Congressman David Wu is set to leave office now that President Obama has signed the debt limit bill into law.
Wu pledged to leave office once the debt ceiling crisis was averted, which happened Tuesday. In the midst of allegations of unwanted and aggressive sexual contact against an 18-year-old daughter of a friend and campaign donor, Wu announced July 26 he would step down. The seven-term representative of Oregon's 1st Congressional District denies breaking any laws and has maintained the still-unexplained encounter was consensual.
His official letter of resignation to Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber is expected to come within days.
'He pledged to stay through the crisis and the crisis isn't over until the President signs it into law,' Wu spokesman Erik Dorey said Monday evening. 'We are not talking about weeks and weeks down the road.'
Chair of the Columbia County chapter of the Oregon Republican Party Robert Speirs said Wu needs to resign now so the special election process can begin.
'We would be very happy to have him fulfill his promise and step down,' Speirs said.
Now is a good time for Republicans to step in, Speirs said.
'This is certainly an interesting time, and I look forward to the Republican party rising to the challenge,' he said.
Wu voted in favor Monday evening of the controversial bill that would raise the debt ceiling limit and cut federal government spending. The bill was passed 269-161 and was passed in the Senate Tuesday. Shortly after Obama signed the bill into law.
The bill is seen as a compromise between Democrats and Republicans who each brought different, often contradictory, agendas to the table.
Congressman David Wu released a short video statement Monday evening explaining his thoughts on the bill.
Wu filmed the video that afternoon from Washington D.C., a short time before he voted.
Wu said in the statement that the vote would likely be his last.
The video statement can be found at video.house.gov/cao/hrs/RepWu.html.
Here is a transcript of Wu's remarks:
'We're about an hour and a half from a historic vote on the debt ceiling. Let me be very clear about this: Our nation is being held hostage. In 230 years, we have not defaulted on our obligations; and a default would cause chaos, both in our country and around the world, throwing our economy and everything else into a really chaotic situation. The legislation before us to prevent that chaos - to prevent a default - is really abhorrent to me and the values that I hold. It makes deep cuts, cuts in programs that I care about: in science and technology, in help for the poorest among us. I have great difficulties with this legislation.
Unfortunately, in some instances in our lives, we have to give up on some of those things that we really care about for a greater good: to keep our nation going forward, in this instance. I will promise you that I will continue to study this legislation, to ponder it and to keep on reflecting on it until I actually go in the chamber and press that button: yes or no; but I will not let this nation descend into chaos. That is something we have to get beyond and live to fight another day.
This is a crucial vote. It is likely to be my last vote, and I want to thank the people of Oregon for giving me this, this seat in Congress temporarily, which is the greatest honor that an immigrant child can ever have-or any person in America can ever have.
Thank you very much, and god speed to you all. Take care.'