Jan 10, 2024 - Politics & Policy

House Democrat joins GOP calls for Biden's defense secretary to resign

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Photo: ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images.

Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-Pa.) on Wednesday became the first Democratic member of Congress to call for Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to step down over the secrecy around his recent hospitalization.

Why it matters: It's a sign that congressional pressure is still growing on Austin to account for his actions even after revealing that he was treated for complications from prostate cancer surgery.

What he's saying: "I have lost trust in Secretary Lloyd Austin's leadership of the Defense Department due to the lack of transparency about his recent medical treatment and its impact on the continuity of the chain of command," Deluzio said in a statement first reported by Politico.

  • Deluzio, a freshman member of the House Armed Services Committee and former Naval officer, said he has a "a solemn duty in Congress to conduct oversight of the Defense Department."
  • "That duty today requires me to call on Secretary Austin to resign."

The big picture: Lawmakers in both parties have been highly critical of the Pentagon's days-long delay in informing the White House and Congress of Austin's hospitalization.

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