March 9th, 2010
01:45 PM ET
5 years ago

Hoyer responds to Massa

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Tuesday dismissed Rep. Eric Massa's claim that he was forced out of Congress because of his opposition to health care reform.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Tuesday dismissed Rep. Eric Massa's claim that he was forced out of Congress because of his opposition to health care reform.

Washington (CNN) - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer dismissed Tuesday as "absolutely untrue" former Rep. Eric Massa's claim that he was forced out of Congress because of his opposition to health care reform.

Pressed by CNN about Massa's assertion that he was pushed out to save the health care bill and his criticism of the leadership tactics on the issue, Hoyer firmly responded, "It's absolutely untrue."

The number two House Democrat insisted repeatedly that there was no relationship between his actions regarding Massa and health care, emphasizing to reporters "Is anybody confused? Do I need to clarify that?"

At his weekly pen and pad with reporters, Hoyer called the accusation by Massa "absurd" and made a point to in his opening remarks to explain his role in the matter.

Hoyer recounted, as his spokeswoman did last week, that his staff was approached by a Massa aide on February 8th about allegations involving the New York Democrat.

Hoyer declined to address the specifics about what Massa's aide told Hoyer's staff about the allegations, only that they "sounded serious."

"I knew some, but not the details," Hoyer said.

A senior Democratic aide told CNN last week that the allegations involved a male staffer who was made to feel uncomfortable. The aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions among staff were private on a sensitive matter and because of the Ethics Committee investigation, said the allegations involved "a sexual implication."

Hoyer said "our advice to staff [Massa' staff] was that they report this matter to the Ethics committee and if they had not done so in an appropriate matter of time. - i.e. Friday- we heard about this on Wednesday – we would initiate that ourselves."

Hoyer also responded to Massa's claim in a radio program that the majority leader lied about talking to him directly. "I never talked to Mr. Massa. What I told you happened. My staff talked to his staff."


Filed under: Eric Massa • Steny Hoyer
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Massa is an Embarassment

    I'm a democrat, but how many different stories is Mr. Massa going to come up with? If he had any credibility, he doesn't anymore.

    March 9, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  2. jakester

    This is fun. Watching the Dems eat each other. Bwahahahaha

    March 9, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. Average American

    Massa's lost his marbles! I find it interesting that not a single member of Massa's staff is defending him publically. If he was being pushed out by some group of mean Democrats, wouldn't they want to set the record straight?

    March 9, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    1) Massa himself stated he was retiring due to health reasons. 2) Next the accusations of sexual harrassment charges. 3) Massa denies accusations. 4) Messa now claims he's being pushed out to save the healthcare bill. Who can believe this man, he sounds guilty of the sexual harrassment charges because the sequences of this whole matter appears he's looking for a scapegoat and anyone should be able to see through him.

    March 9, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. Bennie Sowers

    is there a straight person in congress this is pathetic there is no wonder why congress is screwed up and can't get any work done too many men dressed in women's clothing and maybe too many women dressed in men's clothing perhaps that is why congress can't pass the don't ask don't tell rules for the military because too many people in power are confused about their own sexuality. BLAH! BLAH!

    March 9, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. Obama Victim

    and we would believe anything Hoyer says because??????????

    March 9, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    I think MASSA got VD from one of his ship-mates - left untreated, it causes this type of insanity.

    Ignore him. He's certifiable.

    March 9, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. Pragmatic

    The Democrats operate under a big tent. Which is why, even with 60 Democrats, you can't always get things done. Being pushed out? Lieberman stayed ... and he campaigned for McCain!

    Massa is just trying to use smoke and mirrors to hide a worse ethics violation ... his ship is sinking and he'd rather throw anchors than life jackets.

    March 9, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. I WANT MINES

    NO SIR
    Its very clear
    very clear indeed
    very clear how the dumbocrats or the more liberal givemecrats eat their own when they disagree with with obama why arent you calling them racists like you the right when they disagree it may be it has nothing to do with the colour of his skin but more about the color of his politics

    like the same color as hugo chavez

    March 9, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  10. Sgt. USMC

    Don't try to bring the party down because you couldn't act responsibly Massa!

    Go quietly, go gracefully, and go away!

    March 9, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    Stand with your principles Liberals, geez, look at the social Liberals...I mean, social media, sorry.

    Stand up to it, let alone if you can't even fit in your own crowd and crew, what makes you think you guys are organized? You guys are gonna mess it up and I can't wait to see you go lil by lil.

    Our president whines everyday, Nancy Pelosi seems like is getting a face lift everyday, Majority Leader Harry Reid looks like a puppet who's waiting to get his stangs attached, etc. You guys can't do nothing at all, nothing.

    If one doesn't want it, then don't force their hand! But then again, the only thing that seems to be working well for you guys is blah, blah, blah your way to your defeat in November.

    And after you guys are done, not only will Jesus be back but in this game of politics, I will make fun of you more than the social media in general...or social Liberals, which I like to call them.

    March 9, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. Richie in Mass

    If he was a "yes" vote for healthcare they would have dragged it out till the vote. Since he is a "no" vote, they have no use for him.

    March 9, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. Stallion

    What part of this massive deception by the Obama administration am I supposed to believe? It sounds like all concerned are lying about something.

    March 9, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    This is also the same fool that is telling us all the other lies about Obamacare. He has no credibility. Liberals lie to push their putrid agenda, just look at what the idiot in chief said yesterday. They get so caught up in their lying, they just say anything that sounds good. Obama, I hope we can last the four years before you are gone.

    March 9, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  15. Enough

    Well then it must all be true!! Never trust a politician, especially when speaking of a fellow politician.

    March 9, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  16. EvilPoliticians

    Being forced out absolutely had nothing to do with Massa not voting along party lines. That would be dirty politics.

    March 9, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  17. sam, LITTLETON.CO

    Massa is putting up a smoke screen, to divert attention to his wrong doings. HE IS A LIAR!!!!!

    March 9, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    One positive out of this is apparently the cons are more accepting of gays now!

    This blog has been loaded with support for Massa and decrying his ethics violation.

    So, we can only assume it is now a new "family value" for a married man to propose gay sex to a male employee when he states "I should be fracking you"!

    While I have no problem with the proposal, it probably should not have been made to an employee i.e. the ethics violation.

    And just in case, if I were the employee, I would give Massa his space, as it sounds like he too, is not gay but has a "wide stance"

    March 9, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. malia

    I believe Mr. Massa's claim! We have previously seen this sort of behavior coming out of BO's administration, plus Robert Gibbs smirk on ABC's Good Morning said it all. BO' administration is all about smearing those who oppose their liberal agenda and Americans people know it.

    March 9, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. Jeff in Virginia

    Eric Massa has a strained relationship with reality, at best.

    He is accusing government leaders of conspiracy to cover up his own sexual indiscretions.

    The fact that Massa is going on Glenn Beck's show today is the proof.

    March 9, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. Enough is Enough

    Obama is peddling lies about the health care bill so the idea that he is threatening people is no surprise. Obama threatened GM bond holders who were cheated in the illegal division of assets. Obama threatened health insurance companies that mailed letters to their policy holders regarding the dangers of Obamacare. This is just more Chicago style politicial thuggery based on Alinsky radical teachings.

    March 9, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. geecee

    This Massa guy is just making himself look more and more foolish. He should just admit he's a teabagger, come out of the closet, switch political parties and stay in Congress. No one is forcing him to resign. The Dems. didn't go after the other 38 Democratic Congressman who didn't support the health care bill. Why would they just pick on this guy? It makes no sense whatsoever. He's just trying to project any blame onto someone else to make himself look less absurd. What a nutjob.

    March 9, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  23. David

    Save your breath, Steny!! We all know what's really up here and Massa is probably right. The whole left/right paradigm is a joke. Look at the other headline on this blog of Romney wanting to make sure there's no third party candidates. That's the biggest fear of the two-party (joke) system! It's a scam with a whole lot of hands in it.

    March 9, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. Free america

    Come on Hoyer we all know how chicago polotics are run. Mr. Hoyer we in the public know that the uniouns are twisting arms for the votes because the uniouns are the ones that wrote the majority of the bill. Mr. Massa thought his private life may need help. He still shouldn't be pushed around by the chicago thugs running our goverment. PEOPLE PLEASE LISTEN TO MASSA THIS IS HOW OBAMA RUNS ,AND HIS POSSIE.

    March 9, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. Kevin B

    Mr Hoyer, please do not alow yourself to be pulled into the absurd antics of Mr Massa, just get out of his way and let him completely do himself in.

    It is obvious that Mr Massa's sorted past is catching up to him.

    March 9, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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