Hoyer: Massa healthcare charges are 'absurd' and 'absolutely untrue'

Hoyer: Massa healthcare charges are 'absurd' and 'absolutely untrue'

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Tuesday flatly rejected former Rep. Eric Massa’s (D-N.Y.) claim that his ethics scandal was orchestrated by Democrats to ensure he couldn't cast a vote against healthcare reform.

“That’s absurd,” Hoyer said of Massa’s weekend insinuation that Democrats conspired to force him out of office.

“That’s absolutely untrue,” Hoyer said at his press conference. “Definitively untrue.”

“We want to pass this bill,” Hoyer continued. “It’s absolutely untrue — I want to reiterate it to you — that there was any relationship between actions and the healthcare bill. Period.”

Massa made his allegations over the weekend on a radio show he hosts.

“This administration and this House leadership has said, quote-unquote, they will stop at nothing to pass this healthcare bill,” Massa said Sunday on WKPQ radio. “And now they’ve gotten rid of me and it will pass. You connect the dots.”

Massa voted against the House bill that passed by only two votes in November. He opposed it because it did not include a single-payer public insurance system.

Massa’s Monday resignation lowered the threshold for passing legislation out of the House from 217 votes to 216 votes.

Massa resigned under the cloud of a House ethics investigation, though that probe will not go forward because of his resignation. The committee was looking into Massa because of complaints over comments he made to a male staffer.

When Hoyer learned of the allegations against Massa, Massa's office was reportedly told by Hoyer's office that he had 48 hours to notify the House ethics committee or Hoyer or his office would do so.