Breaking News

Democratic senators call on Al Franken to resign

A growing number of Democratic senators are calling on Al Franken to step aside.

Twenty-four Democratic senators -- 12 female and 12 male including the second-ranking Democrat in chamber -- called on Franken to resign as allegations of sexual harassment against him continue to mount. Republican Sen. Susan Collins also called on Franken to quit.

In a statement on Facebook, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wrote: "While Senator Franken is entitled to have the Ethics Committee conclude its review, I believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn't acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve."

“Enough is enough,” Gillibrand told reporters at a news conference. “We need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is okay, none of it is acceptable. We as elected leaders should absolutely be held to a higher standard, not a lower standard, and we should fundamentally be valuing women. That is where this debate has to go.”

Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Patty Murray of Washington, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Kamala Harris of California, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Maria Cantwell of Washington, Dianne Feinstein of California, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii also joined in the call for Franken to resign.

Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania was the first male Democratic senator to call on Franken to resign just after noon Wednesday. Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, Tom Carper of Delaware, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Sherrod Brown also called for Franken to step down. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois -- the Democratic whip -- also called on Franken to resign.

Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, joined the calls for Franken’s ouster.

“Sen. Al Franken should step down. Everyone must share the responsibility of building a culture of trust and respect for women in every industry and workplace, and that includes our party,” Perez wrote on Twitter.

Franken’s office said he would make an announcement about his political future on Thursday. No other details were provided.

No comments