House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Saturday night that she had no comment on whether Rep. David Wu should resign, one day after a Portland newspaper reported that the Oregon Democrat is facing accusations from a young woman of an “unwanted sexual encounter” last fall.
“I don’t have any comment on that at this time,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters as she left her Capitol office after a series of meetings with other congressional leaders on raising the debt ceiling. “I just really don’t know that much about it; I heard that there was some article in the paper.”
Pelosi told reporters that she’d have something to say at a later date, noting that “right now, we’re so completely, totally immersed” in the debt-limit negotiations.
The Oregonian reported Friday evening that the young woman, who is the daughter of a longtime friend of Wu’s, phoned the lawmaker’s office this spring and left a “distraught” voicemail accusing Wu of aggressive and unwanted sexual contact.
In a statement Friday, Wu said only that “this is very serious, and I have absolutely no desire to bring unwanted publicity, attention or stress to a young woman and her family.”
The report marked the latest of Wu’s troubles; much of his staff departed after the 2010 election, and in recent months there have been reports that Wu had sent unprofessional e-mails and photos of himself to staffers. In the 1970s, Wu also faced accusations from a former girlfriend of unwanted sexual advances.
Pelosi made her remarks to reporters as she left her office about 7:20 p.m. Saturday, approximately an hour after she and other congressional leaders ended their debt-limit meeting in House Speaker John Boehner’s office.
She said that the leaders were “still working” and that she was “certainly hopeful” that the group was making progress.
“The only thing is that it has to happen; we cannot default, and I want a long-term extension,” Pelosi said when asked how the talks were progressing. “I think if we’re going to be on time, we have to have something soon.”
Asked whether a two-tier plan such as Boehner (R-Ohio) has suggested might be in the works, Pelosi responded that it is “one option,” and that revenue increases could be included in the second tier.
“I don’t think we can accomplish what we need to do in deficit reduction without revenues,” she said. “It would have to be (included) if we’re going to go into what we need to do to greatly reduce the deficit. But it is not over yet.”
As she departed the Capitol, Pelosi said that the leaders didn’t have any further meetings scheduled just yet.
“Everybody just has dinner scheduled,” Pelosi told reporters. “So should you. Go home.”