Congress reacts to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation

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Congress reacts to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's resignation

Members of Congress from both parties welcomed Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Tuesday resignation announcement, which came one week after state Attorney General Letitia James dropped a bombshell report detailing the Democrat’s sexual harassment of 11 women, including nine current or former state employees.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued a statement praising “the brave women who stepped forward and courageously told their stories.

“There is no place for sexual harassment, and today’s announcement by Governor Cuomo to resign was the right decision for the good of the people of New York,” Schumer added.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the No. 3 House Republican, celebrated the end of what she called “the Worst Governor in America’s corrupt and criminal tenure” and called for Cuomo to face criminal charges.

“This resignation is long past overdue,” she said. “Governor Cuomo needs to be arrested and prosecuted for sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual abuse. Governor Cuomo also needs to be arrested and prosecuted for his criminal acts covering up the tragic deaths of our most vulnerable seniors in nursing homes.”

Stefanik also called for the prosecution of both Cuomo and members of his staff over their work on the soon-to-be-former governor’s pandemic memoir, “American Crisis”

“There are multiple federal and state laws that the Governor and his staff have broken,” she concluded, “and they need to be held accountable. Every New Yorker must know that there is equal justice under the law – no matter if you are the most powerful figure in New York or an everyday New Yorker.”

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), who is seeking the governorship in next year’s election, said Cuomo had announced his resignation in an effort to “skirt all repercussions for his actions as opposed to accounting for his misconduct.

“He knows he would be impeached. He knows he would be voted out of office,” Zeldin added. “Andrew Cuomo broke the law and criminal repercussions must follow, despite him no longer serving in public office. From his deadly nursing home order and coverup, to his $5.1 million self-congratulatory book deal and serial harassment and abuse of others, he’s been unfit to continue serving for a long period of time.”

Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY), who joined Reps. Hakeem Jeffries and Gregory Meeks in calling for Cuomo to step down last week, said the governor had “done the right thing by resigning.

Governor Cuomo leaving Manhattan by helicopter after his resignation on Tuesday.
Gov. Cuomo leaving Manhattan by helicopter after his resignation on Tuesday.
Matthew McDermott for NY Post

“There is no doubt that Andrew Cuomo has accomplished much for our state, from the property tax cap, to rebuilding our infrastructure, to instituting a $15 minimum wage and battling COVID,” Suozzi said in a statement. “It is imperative that our next governor continue the positive achievements of the Cuomo administration and help once again make New York the Empire State.”

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) called the resignation “an important first step forward for our state and its citizens.”

“While today’s resignation doesn’t heal the trauma and hurt felt by the women over Governor Cuomo’s sexual misconduct or the New Yorkers who lost loved ones in a nursing home due to his poor decisions, it does open the door for the process of healing to begin,” Malliotakis said. “There are no excuses for the offenses that these women charged him and hopefully our legal system will deliver the justice they deserve. But, the Governor’s resignation leaves many questions unanswered, including his administration’s alleged coverup in the nursing home scandal and the payday he received by utilizing his staff and state resources to write a book. The legislature must address these issues in a forthright and transparent manner.”

Rep. Katharine Clark (D-Mass.), the fourth-ranking House Democrat praised the governor’s accusers, tweeting: “Thank you to the brave women who came forward and put their careers and safety on the line to shine a light on these abuses of power.

“Together, we will build a culture of accountability and respect,” Clark added.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), lambasted Cuomo, describing his resignation speech with the Twitter hashtag, “#shameless.”

“After a dozen or more victims came forward about his outrageous and illegal behavior, Cuomo’s resignation speech was dedicated to empowering women,” Issa pointed out.

Cuomo’s resignation will take effect in 14 days’ time. He will be succeeded by Lt. Gov. Hochul, who would become the Empire State’s first female governor.

“Kathy Hochul will be an extraordinary governor,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) told reporters Tuesday. “She understands the complexities and needs of our state, having been both a congresswoman and having been lieutenant governor for the last several years. She is ready and able and capable of being an extraordinary governor, and I look forward to supporting her and helping her as she turns towards governing our state in a very difficult and challenging time.”

“I have full confidence that Lt. Governor Hochul will establish a professional and capable administration,” Schumer added in his statement. “I have spoken with Lt. Governor Hochul and look forward to working together to help the people of New York.”

Zeldin, however, depicted Hochul in his statement as the governor’s faithful enabler “who empowered this disgusting behavior while Andrew Cuomo cultivated this toxic culture, leaving a trail of victims in its wake.

“Kathy Hochul has been silent scandal after scandal, from fatal nursing home policies and coverups to rampant harassment, intimidation, bullying and abuse. In November of 2022, we must rid New York of the Cuomo-Hochul administration and its disgraceful legacy.”

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