Illinois Republican Rep. Aaron Schock announced his resignation Tuesday following weeks of revelations that he may have broken House ethics rules and campaign financing laws
“Constant questions over the last six weeks have proven a great distraction that has made it too difficult for me to serve the people of the 18th District with the high standards that they deserve and which I have set for myself,” Schock, 33, said in a statement Tuesday. “I have always sought to do what’s best for my constituents and I thank them for the opportunity to serve.”
Schock will leave Congress on March 31.
Schock, 33, a young, media-savvy Republican, had drawn attention for his physical fitness and fundraising prowess. But more recently he has come under scrutiny for extravagant spending, payments to donors for flights on private jets and improperly categorized expenses.
The questions raised have included Associated Press investigations of his real estate transactions, air travel and Instagram use. On Monday, the AP confirmed that the Office of Congressional Ethics had reached out to Schock’s associates as it apparently began an investigation.
Although Congressman Schock says his resignation is effective two weeks from today, it would appear he has already called it quits. Congress is in session and Schock voted Monday, but not on Tuesday. He hasn’t been seen – only heard from. His written resignation statement was put out to the public even before congressional leaders knew about it.
Schock’s standards came into question last month when it was revealed his Capitol Hill office resembled something out of the British high-society TV series “Downton Abbey.”
At that time, the 33-year-old congressman flippantly replied that he’d never been “a crusty old white guy.”
Opponents pointed to Schock’s departure as an example of the GOP’s failure to lead.
“Fewer than 100 days in, Speaker Boehner has already seen his Speakership challenged, his caucus defiantly reject him time and again, some of his closest colleagues retire rather than watch their reputations dragged down by the gridlock and dysfunction, and now the second member of his caucus has resigned amid ethics scandal,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Matt Thornton said in a statement. “Speaker Boehner’s Republican caucus is more like Animal House, and the American people deserve better.