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Majority of U.S. House Democrats from New York call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo listens to speakers at a vaccination site on March 8, 2021, in New York.

SETH WENIG | AFP | Getty Images

A majority of congressional Democrats from New York, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, on Friday issued near-simultaneous calls for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign.

“The repeated accusations against the Governor, and the manner in which he has responded to them, have made it impossible for him to continue to govern at this point,” Nadler said in a statement on Twitter.

“Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of the people of New York. Governor Cuomo must resign,” Nadler said.

So far, 12 of the 19 House Democrats from New York have called for Cuomo to quit.

The embattled Democratic governor has faced calls for his resignation from state-level politicians within his own party over a growing list of sexual harassment and workplace misconduct allegations against him.

Cuomo has repeatedly vowed not to resign, and has urged people to suspend judgment on the numerous allegations against him until the conclusion of an investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

But Democrats and Republicans in the Empire State have only ramped up the pressure on Cuomo, most recently by taking steps toward an impeachment probe.

Cuomo has suggested that the attacks are motivated by politics. Several New York Democrats are currently considering launching bids for Cuomo’s job as his political future appears increasingly in doubt.

But a deluge of congressional Democrats on Friday morning joined the growing chorus against Cuomo, who is under fire not only for the harassment allegations but also for his administration’s handling of Covid in nursing homes.

“As members of the New York delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives, we believe these women, we believe the reporting, we believe the Attorney General, and we believe the fifty-five members of the New York State legislature, including the State Senate Majority Leader, who have concluded that Governor Cuomo can no longer effectively lead in the face of so many challenges,” Reps. Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman said in a joint statement.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) (L) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)

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“As public servants, we must earn the trust and respect of those we represent. There is only one way the Governor can truly restore accountability and confidence to his office: he must resign,” said the statement from Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y.

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., in her own statement said, “We have come a long way, but now is the time to finally ensure that this generation’s courage stops harassment once and for all.”

Rep. Kathleen Rice in early March had been the first House Democrat from New York to call for the governor’s resignation.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat known to have an adversarial relationship with Cuomo, said earlier this week that he “can no longer serve as governor.”

Notably, New York’s two Democratic senators have so far been unwilling to call on Cuomo to resign.

On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the latest claim against Cuomo “nauseating,” but stopped short of demanding that the governor step down.

Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the development from House Democrats. The White House also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that she has spoken with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris about Cuomo’s controversies, “and I’ve reiterated on their behalf that they believe all women should be heard, that they should be treated with respect.”

Noting the investigation underway by AG James, Psaki said Biden and Harris “respect that and believe that should move forward.”

Cuomo had initially been praised for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic as it hammered New York in 2020. The governor’s regular live briefings on the state’s progress against the virus earned him an International Emmy award, and in the midst of the pandemic he even published a book offering “lessons in leadership.”

But much of that praise evaporated amid controversy over his administration’s handling of Covid nursing home death data.

In late January, James accused the Cuomo administration of significantly underreporting the number of Covid deaths related to nursing homes. That conclusion of a monthslong probe followed allegations that New York nursing homes failed to follow Covid safety protocols.

In March, New York state lawmakers voted to strip Cuomo of the emergency powers he had been granted to fight the pandemic.

CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk, Tom Franck and Brian Schwartz contributed to this report.

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